CM October 2020

The CICM magazine for credit consumer and commercial credit professionals

The CICM magazine for credit consumer and commercial credit professionals


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.


<strong>CM</strong><br />

OCTOBER <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />



Digging Deep<br />

Tough times ahead for the<br />

UK agricultural sector<br />

Enforcement action<br />

has started afresh.<br />

Page 12<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

talks to Karen Savage<br />

of Azzurro Law. Page 21

Verify your clientsin<br />

secondsonthe go<br />

Experience our user-friendly interface wherever<br />

and wheneveryou need<br />





Call us nowtobookafreedemo on:<br />

+44 (0)113 333 9835<br />

Or visit us online:<br />

smartsearch.com<br />

SmartSearch delivers verificationservices forindividuals andbusinessesinthe<br />

UK andinternational markets. Theseservices include worldwide Sanction &PEP<br />

screening, dailymonitoring, emailalertsand AutomatedEnhancedDue Diligence.

9<br />


Sue Chapple<br />

FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> GOVERNANCE<br />

View our digital version online at www.cicm.com. Log on to the Members’<br />

area, and click on the tab labelled ‘Credit Management magazine’<br />

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without specific permission. Opinions expressed in this magazine do<br />

not, unless stated, reflect those of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. The Editor reserves the right to<br />

abbreviate letters if necessary. The Institute is registered as a charity. The mark ‘Credit Management’ is a registered<br />

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.<br />

Any articles published relating to English law will differ from laws in Scotland and Wales.<br />

16<br />


Aneesh Varma<br />

21<br />


Karen Savage<br />

18<br />


Markus Kuger<br />

President Stephen Baister FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Executive Board: Chair Debbie Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) – Vice Chair Phil Rice FCI<strong>CM</strong> /Treasurer Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Advisory Council: Sarah Aldridge FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Laurie Beagle FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Alan Church FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

Brendan Clarkson FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Niall Cooter FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Peter Gent FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

Philip Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Neil Jinks FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Nick King FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Charles Mayhew FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Debbie Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

Bryony Pettifor FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)/ Allan Poole MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Alice Purdy MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Matthew Roberts MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Phil Rice FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Chris Sanders FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Stephen Thomson FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Atul Vadher FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2020</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />


9 – False Dawns?<br />

What does ‘normal’ look like in the<br />

months ahead?<br />

10 – Fire Hazard<br />

Will we see an end to pre-packs and the<br />

Pre-Pack Pool?<br />

12 – Welcome Home?<br />

CIVEA members are helping local<br />

authorities to recover vital cash.<br />

16 – Picture Perfect<br />

The impact of COVID-19 on future credit<br />

reports.<br />

18 – Growing Pains<br />

It’s an anxious time for farming. Markus<br />

Kuger of D&B explores the sector’s<br />

future.<br />

21 – Legally Speaking<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong> talks commercial<br />

collections to Karen Savage of Azzurro<br />

Law.<br />

24 – Mind your Language<br />

Poland is a great place to do business,<br />

but the language can be a barrier.<br />

29 – Open all Hours?<br />

Karen Young wonders what is next for<br />

the workplace.<br />

32 – Executive Board<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong> profiles the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s<br />

new Executive Board.<br />

37 – Ship to Shore<br />

Does off-shoring AR work in a<br />

pandemic?<br />

38 – Calm before the Storm<br />

How the payment landscape has<br />

changed since lockdown.<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham<br />

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

<strong>CM</strong>M: www.creditmanagement.org.uk<br />

Managing Editor<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Deputy Editor<br />

Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com<br />

Editorial Team<br />

Rob Howard and Imogen Hart<br />

Advertising<br />

Grace Ghattas<br />

Telephone: 020 3603 7946<br />

Email: grace@cabbell.co.uk<br />

Printers<br />

Stephens & George Print Group<br />

<strong>2020</strong> subscriptions<br />

UK: £112 per annum<br />

International: £145 per annum<br />

Single copies: £12.50<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 3


It’s a mad mad<br />

mad mad world<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Managing Editor<br />

THEY used to say when I was<br />

young that you never saw a<br />

poor farmer. As a farmer’s<br />

son, I remember it well, and<br />

I recall how very angry my<br />

father became every time<br />

he heard it.<br />

He certainly wasn’t rich, and battled<br />

night and day through the driest summers<br />

and the bleakest winters to keep our farm<br />

afloat. Then came the Spring of 1992, and<br />

an outbreak of BSE across the UK that took<br />

over 100 cattle from our own herd. Perhaps<br />

this doesn’t seem like a large number<br />

compared to the 37,000 that died or were<br />

slaughtered that year as a result of Mad Cow<br />

Disease, but it was more than half of what<br />

we had.<br />

Somehow, he recovered, rebuilt the herd<br />

(he used to buy three calves for a fiver at<br />

the market – those that were not expected<br />

to make it through the night – and nurse<br />

them back to health, the dear old softy)<br />

and managed to get the farm back onto its<br />

feet. Then came the Spring of 2001, and<br />

an outbreak of Foot & Mouth that led to<br />

more deaths, another depleted herd, and a<br />

decision at last to throw in the towel.<br />

There was very little coverage given to<br />

the plight of farmers like my father at the<br />

time. Being on the Isle of Man, the bigger<br />

news was the cancellation of the TT which<br />

was, and I should imagine still is, the<br />

Island’s biggest revenue generator outside<br />

of Financial Services.<br />

I wonder, had my father lived and my<br />

brothers and I had taken over the farm,<br />

what he would now be making of COVID-19.<br />

For farmers today are in a parlous state, not<br />

helped by poor weather and an expected<br />

poor harvest.<br />

Markus Kuger, the genius Chief Economist<br />

at Dun & Bradstreet, looks at the sector in<br />

detail in our lead article, and reveals how<br />

many farms have been lost in the last four<br />

years alone. While payment performance<br />

across the agricultural sector as a whole is<br />

encouraging, it’s not all good news.<br />

Uncertainty over Brexit combined with<br />

a decline in demand for certain foodstuffs<br />

such as dairy due to the wholesale closure of<br />

restaurants and cafés is putting pressure on<br />

an industry already under duress. Markus<br />

confirms there are difficult times ahead,<br />

profits will be down, but that the industry<br />

will survive. I’m sure it will, but there will<br />

be failures. So next time you think that all<br />

farmers are raking it in, spare a thought for<br />

my father and others like him. It’s not all<br />

fields of gold.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 4

<strong>CM</strong>NEWS<br />

A round-up of news stories from the<br />

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

Written by – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

David Postings,<br />

Chief Executive<br />

of Bibby Financial<br />

Services<br />

Pressure mounting on SMEs as<br />

Ministers demand return to work<br />

THE majority (55 percent) of UK<br />

SMEs are being paid later as<br />

a result of the pandemic in a<br />

trend which is threatening the<br />

economic recovery.<br />

A report by Bibby Financial Services<br />

(BFS) suggests that more than a third<br />

(36 percent) of SMEs have seen payment<br />

times increase by more than three<br />

weeks, while 28 percent have seen an<br />

increase in bad debt. More than one in 10<br />

(12 percent) have customers who refuse<br />

outright to pay money owed.<br />

As the economy begins to restart,<br />

Bibby believes these financial pressures<br />

are hindering the ability of SMEs to get<br />

back to business. Some 14 percent of<br />

SMEs have been forced to turn down new<br />

business as the money they need to buy<br />

raw materials is wrapped up in unpaid<br />

invoices, and one in 10 (11 percent) have<br />

had to keep staff on furlough who they<br />

need to bring back to complete work.<br />

While there is a clear economic cost<br />

to SMEs, there is also a personal one.<br />

SME owners are struggling to balance<br />

the financial pressures of the pandemic<br />

with their own wellbeing with a third (34<br />

percent) admitting to not having a single<br />

day off since the start of lockdown and<br />

27 percent citing a deteriorating work life<br />

balance.<br />

The research shows that 56 percent<br />

of SMEs will be unable to meet their<br />

running costs beyond 12 months as poor<br />

payment practices complicate already<br />

stretched supply chains. Nearly a quarter<br />

(22 percent) of UK SMEs have lost a<br />

supplier already due to the business<br />

closing and 12 percent admit to delaying<br />

a payment to a supplier in an attempt to<br />

manage cashflow.<br />

David Postings, Chief Executive of<br />

Bibby Financial Services, says pressure<br />

on SMEs is reaching an unsustainable<br />

level: “Everyone likes to talk about SMEs<br />

being the backbone of the UK economy<br />

and they clearly have a critical role to<br />

play in the country’s economic recovery,<br />

but too often we lose sight of the people<br />

that run and work in them. There are 5.9<br />

million SMEs in the UK, often employing<br />

fewer than 10 people, and for businesses<br />

of that size, it’s personal.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 5


Report claims rise as digital<br />

demands clearer leadership<br />

STRONG and clear leadership<br />

are key to the transformative<br />

success of digital in the<br />

workplace, according to a report<br />

from the ACCA that reveals the<br />

challenges and opportunities faced by<br />

organisations during the pandemic.<br />

Data and digital transformations have<br />

increased exponentially in the workplace<br />

over the COVID-19 pandemic, with<br />

the role of and reliance on technology<br />

becoming more significant than ever<br />

before as more organisations adopt<br />

digital products and services to survive.<br />

ACCA says this has been the result of<br />

the maturing of digital applications to a<br />

level that’s made them widely usable and<br />

hyper-relevant in the current situation.<br />

ACCA’s report - Digitisation and the<br />

Global Pandemic - examines the impact<br />

of this immense change due to the<br />

pandemic and includes case studies<br />

from business leaders around the world.<br />

It offers practical guidance to cope with<br />

digital transformation, using ACCA’s ‘Act,<br />

Analyse and Anticipate road to recovery’<br />

model with a focus on digital.<br />

ACCA recommends the first step is to<br />

act to ensure operability; then analyse<br />

the situation ahead by looking for<br />

opportunities; then finally comes the<br />

transformation of the organisation by<br />

establishing a digital strategy, identifying<br />

the role of technology to support the<br />

future strategic workforce plan<br />

virtually and physically, and how its<br />

presence can be sustained in the longer<br />

term.<br />

Narayanan Vaidyanathan, the author<br />

of the report says technology and digital<br />

have helped many organisations to<br />

continue to operate: “Those already<br />

thinking about digitisation have adapted<br />

better, while those who had historically<br />

resisted it found their problems<br />

amplified. That’s why we think our<br />

roadmap is helpful, a practical guide to<br />

plan over the short, medium and long<br />

term to cope with digital change.<br />

“Many have had to accelerate their<br />

digital plans and make huge changes<br />

to how an organisation actually works.<br />

Home working has become the norm,<br />

and for managers this has demanded a<br />

change in style and approach – the rise<br />

of digital has meant the need for even<br />

more leadership from the front, with<br />

a strong human touch.”<br />

ACCA says the pandemic has also<br />

transformed how business is done, with<br />

a greater expectation that organisations<br />

will act with care and compassion.<br />

Sam Ellis, chair of ACCA’s Global<br />

Technology Forum, says that COVID-19<br />

has, at least for now, reduced the<br />

tolerance for traditional hard-charging<br />

ways of doing business: “Organisations<br />

are thinking more critically about what<br />

their digital footprint says about their<br />

values and respect for the community.<br />

But we are very much still in unchartered<br />

waters.”<br />

(See Sue Chapple’s column on page 9.)<br />

Debbie Nolan appointed new CI<strong>CM</strong> Chair<br />

DEBBIE Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) has<br />

succeeded Pete Whitmore FCI<strong>CM</strong> as<br />

Chair of the CI<strong>CM</strong> Executive Board<br />

of Trustees. She is joined in her new<br />

position by Phil Rice FCI<strong>CM</strong> as Vice Chair<br />

and Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong> as Treasurer.<br />

Debbie, the UK CEO of global financial<br />

solutions company, Arvato, has been a<br />

graduate member of the CI<strong>CM</strong> for more<br />

than 25 years. She has spent almost all of<br />

her working life in the credit industry in a<br />

number of different roles for high profile<br />

organisations, predominantly focused<br />

on consumer credit, recoveries and<br />

collections.<br />

Debbie says she is honoured to be<br />

elected: “I’d like to think that I’ve been<br />

able to utilise the experience that I have<br />

gained in my ‘day job’ to help support and<br />

shape the CI<strong>CM</strong> over the last two years<br />

and will continue to do so in the future.<br />

We need a collaborative, forward thinking<br />

Executive Board more than ever to tackle<br />

the challenges of a post-pandemic period<br />

that is likely to have a lasting impact on<br />

our industry.”<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Chief Executive<br />

of the CI<strong>CM</strong>, said she was delighted<br />

to welcome Debbie as Chair: “Pete has<br />

done an excellent job in steering the<br />

Executive Board with Debbie as his<br />

Deputy, so Debbie will be able to hit the<br />

ground running. There is much to be<br />

accomplished over the next two years<br />

and Debbie’s knowledge, insight and<br />

experience will be critical as we take the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> and its members on the next stage<br />

of our journey in promoting best-practice<br />

credit management.”<br />

Debbie has represented Consumer<br />

Credit on the CI<strong>CM</strong> Advisory Council<br />

since 2016 and has served as Vice Chair<br />

on the Executive Board for the last two<br />

years.<br />

Other elected Executive<br />

Board Trustees are Larry<br />

Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Victoria<br />

Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) and Phil<br />

Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

(See article on page 32.)<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 6

UK workers ‘better off’ during<br />

lockdown, survey claims<br />

TWO thirds of British workers have been<br />

better off financially since lockdown,<br />

primarily as a result of working from<br />

home and not going out.<br />

The survey, commissioned by Eskenzi<br />

PR, found that of 1,000 people surveyed,<br />

30 percent said they saved on lunches by<br />

working from home, 60 percent of people<br />

saved money by not going out, and half<br />

(50 percent) saved on commuting costs.<br />

The study also found that almost<br />

90 percent of those employed in the<br />

financial sector reported savings.<br />

Similarly, those in IT, Legal, HR and<br />

Education also managed to increase<br />

their savings during the months of<br />

lockdown. Even key workers were able to<br />

save, despite still having to commute to<br />

work. In fact, 65 percent of retail workers,<br />

builders and manual labourers reported<br />

being better off financially since March<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, according to the findings.<br />

Workers managed to save an<br />

average of £820 over the six-month<br />

lockdown period just by making lunch<br />

at home - based on the average cost of<br />

eating out at lunch of £3.56, Monday to<br />

Friday - resulting in an overwhelming<br />

£8.1bn saved on out-of-home lunches<br />

nationwide. These financial benefits<br />

have led to more than a third (35 percent)<br />

of respondents to cite their ability to<br />

save by working from home as one of<br />

the reasons why they are not looking<br />


forward to returning to office life.<br />

Unfortunately, some may struggle<br />

to continue this saving streak as<br />

Government incentives come to an<br />

end. With the furlough scheme and the<br />

popular Eat Out to Help Out initiative<br />

ending, it has become more difficult but<br />

necessary to save. From January 2021<br />

rail prices will also be increasing by 1.6<br />

percent, while the congestion charge in<br />

London has already risen to £15, meaning<br />

that annual travel expenditure will<br />

increase making it more difficult to save<br />

if people return to the office.<br />

Although we may be coming out of<br />

lockdown and spending is increasing,<br />

there are still ways you can maintain<br />

savings. The survey found that 30<br />

percent of respondents believed they<br />

won’t be back in the office until 2021,<br />

and three quarters (75 percent) reported<br />

that their employers will allow flexible<br />

working, enabling these saving patterns<br />

to continue.<br />

Yvonne Eskenzi, Co-founder of<br />

Eskenzi PR, says it’s clear that many<br />

workers are not keen to rush back to<br />

an office: “It all comes down to the<br />

employers now – will most of them<br />

allow their staff the freedom to work<br />

flexibility? My gut feeling is that it’s<br />

going to happen whether employers like<br />

it or not as a revolution has happened<br />

right under our noses.”<br />

Personal and corporate insolvency<br />

statistics hide true impact of COVID<br />

CORPORATE insolvencies fell to<br />

778 in August <strong>2020</strong> compared to the<br />

previous month’s figure of 961 and are<br />

significantly lower than they were in the<br />

corresponding period last year (1,369).<br />

Personal insolvencies similarly fell to<br />

6,359 in total compared to July’s figure<br />

of 7,330 and are significantly lower than<br />

August 2019’s figure (8,892).<br />

The decrease in corporate<br />

insolvencies over August was driven by a<br />

drop in administrations and compulsory<br />

liquidations, while the fall in personal<br />

insolvencies is said to have been driven<br />

by a reduction across each of the three<br />

main personal insolvency processes<br />

(bankruptcies, Debt Relief Orders and<br />

Individual Voluntary Arrangements).<br />

Despite the falls, R3 President Colin<br />

Haig believes there is no question<br />

that the pandemic is taking its toll on<br />

businesses and individuals, even though<br />

the impact is not yet being reflected in<br />

the figures: “With a number of temporary<br />

Government measures aimed at reducing<br />

insolvency numbers now coming to an<br />

end, this situation may start to change<br />

before long,” he says,<br />

“The Government’s support measures<br />

have provided vital protection for<br />

businesses and consumers, but as they<br />

begin to wind down and this crucial<br />

safety net disappears, we expect to see<br />

more requests for personal and corporate<br />

insolvency advice and support.”<br />

Colin says this is a worrying time for<br />

the UK, its economy and its business<br />

community: “Unemployment is<br />

increasing, business debt is rising, and,<br />

despite growth in July, the economy<br />

is still nearly 12 percent below prepandemic<br />

levels,” he continues.<br />

“More big brands have announced<br />

cuts in staffing levels over the last<br />

month as they attempt to steer their<br />

way through the new landscape created<br />

by the pandemic. This, coupled with<br />

contraction in the services sector, and<br />

manufacturing and construction still<br />

well behind their pre-pandemic state,<br />

means it is a tough time for British<br />

businesses.”<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Lowell Results<br />

LOWELL has announced its second<br />

quarter results which it says<br />

demonstrate growth across its three-key<br />

metrics: Cash Income; Cash EBITDA; and<br />

£120m ERC. A statement from the credit<br />

management services business said<br />

its performance was down to financial<br />

prudence and increasing efficiency.<br />

Vision On<br />

MANAGING Editor Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

recently appeared on a media channel<br />

in South Africa, comparing the UK<br />

experience of lockdown with its South<br />

African counterparts, in particular in<br />

relation to credit and debt counselling.<br />

“It seems that whereas volumes of<br />

debt collected have risen and calls to<br />

counselling services have fallen over<br />

here, the opposite is the case in South<br />

Africa,” he said. Sean was interviewed<br />

by Zak King, editor of Debtfreedigi.co.za<br />

who will be writing of the South African<br />

experience in a future issue.<br />

Senior appointment<br />

AZZURRO Associates, a pioneer in<br />

commercial debt solutions (CDS),<br />

has appointed experienced Fintech<br />

executive Stefan Acklam as Finance<br />

Director. Stefan has more than 20 years’<br />

expertise in Financial Services in the UK<br />

and US, having recently been Finance<br />

Director for a well-known Challenger<br />

Bank, supporting the business through<br />

its Prudential Regulation Authority<br />

(PRA) approvals and successful multimillion-pound<br />

fund raising. He has a<br />

proven track record in building strong<br />

finance teams, and in putting in place<br />

the necessary financial systems and<br />

processes demanded of a highly<br />

regulated industry. A former senior<br />

consultant with KPMG, Stefan was<br />

attracted to the new role by the team and<br />

the opportunity: “Azzurro Associates is a<br />

well-funded business that is clearly at a<br />

very exciting stage of its development,”<br />

he says. (See interview with Karen<br />

Savage, Azzurro Associates Chief<br />

Operating Officer on page 21.)<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 7

Car finance applications provide<br />

timely boost for motor traders<br />

STRONG car finance application<br />

figures and a surge in people<br />

searching for deals online has<br />

given motor traders a boost<br />

as the new ‘70’ plate launches,<br />

according to Experian.<br />

Applications for both Personal Contract<br />

Purchase (PCP) and Hire Purchase (HP)<br />

agreements have been markedly higher<br />

than during the same period in 2019 since<br />

showrooms reopened on June 1. Pent up<br />

demand led to an 18.6 percent increase in<br />

car finance applications in the first three<br />

weeks of August, following a bumper<br />

July when applications were 27.7 percent<br />

ahead of 2019’s figures.<br />

September was a critical month<br />

for motor traders who need to make<br />

up for time lost during the enforced<br />

closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

Experian’s figures show 390,000 fewer<br />

applications for car finance have been<br />

made in <strong>2020</strong> compared to last year at<br />

the time showrooms re-opened in June.<br />

However, trading since has cut the deficit<br />

to 234,000.<br />

Activity on Experian’s Marketplace,<br />

where people can compare car finance<br />

deals and check their likelihood of being<br />

accepted, provides encouraging signs for<br />

motor traders. Searches have increased<br />

by 291 percent since the lockdown began,<br />

suggesting many people are looking for<br />

ways to finance a car purchase in the<br />

coming weeks.<br />

Gerardo Montoya, Managing Director<br />

of Automotive at Experian, says motor<br />

traders have been working hard to<br />



recover from the lockdown period when<br />

showrooms closed, and sales reduced to<br />

a fraction of normal levels: “Our figures<br />

show car finance applications have<br />

picked up markedly since customers<br />

returned to forecourts in June. Demand<br />

has come from people whose income<br />

has not been affected by the pandemic<br />

and have money in their pockets, as well<br />

as those who are uncomfortable using<br />

public transport.<br />

“The recent plate change offers a<br />

chance for motor traders to recover<br />

more of the sales they missed out on<br />

during lockdown. There’s been a surge in<br />

people searching for car finance on price<br />

comparison websites which suggests<br />

forecourts could be busy. Motor traders<br />

will rely on data to understand people’s<br />

financial situations and how they may<br />

have been affected by coronavirus, so the<br />

finance deals they offer are affordable for<br />

the long term.”<br />

SMARTSEARCH, the anti-money laundering service, has published figures to show that<br />

the total amount of money laundered in the UK in 2019 was a staggering £325 billion.<br />

For context, it says, this sum could buy Buckingham Palace outright 271 times, or the<br />

White House, valued at £319 million, 1,018 times. For those interested in record-breaking<br />

buildings and sporting landmarks, this sum of money could also pay for the world’s<br />

tallest building, Burj Khalifa⁴, 217 times, or Wembley Stadium a staggering 271 times.<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Kicked into touch<br />

THE Federation of Small Businesses<br />

(FSB) has dismissed the Government’s<br />

new kickstart programme as being<br />

‘more aligned to the needs of larger<br />

businesses’ rather than SMEs. National<br />

Chair Mike Cherry says that many of<br />

his members are disappointed with<br />

the plan: "Small firms, who are the<br />

largest employers across the business<br />

landscape, have long expressed interest<br />

in this scheme and will be disappointed<br />

to find it harder than expected to take<br />

part. To put it bluntly, this scheme<br />

has not been designed with small<br />

businesses front of mind.”<br />

Icing on the cake<br />

THE Accounts Receivable Team within<br />

the Grocery Service Centre of Associated<br />

British Foods, has been accredited as a<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Centre of Excellence. A full report<br />

on how the team attained the Institute’s<br />

highest accolade will be included in a<br />

future issue.<br />

Hard wired<br />

WIRECARD has announced it will<br />

be winding-down its FCA-regulated<br />

business. The business will continue to<br />

trade while alternative arrangements are<br />

being made with its card providers. This<br />

action has followed ongoing events in<br />

Germany concerning Wirecard’s parent<br />

company, Wirecard AG, and previous<br />

action from the FCA. Customers are<br />

being advised to contact their card<br />

provider if they are concerned or have<br />

any questions.<br />

Vacant possession<br />

VACANCIES for unfilled Regional<br />

Representative roles on Advisory<br />

Council have now been filled, following<br />

appointments made by the<br />

Executive Board. Nick King FCI<strong>CM</strong>, has<br />

been appointed South West Regional<br />

Representative; Matthew Roberts<br />

MCI<strong>CM</strong> is filling the West Midlands<br />

Regional Representative post; and Atul<br />

Vadher FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) has been appointed<br />

Regional Representative for the East<br />

of England. Profiles will appear in the<br />

November issue.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Essentials<br />

TO stay up-to-date with all that is happening at the CI<strong>CM</strong> – from qualifications to<br />

training, and membership to events – see the weekly e-newsletter CI<strong>CM</strong> Essentials.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 8


False Dawns?<br />

A sense of normality is returning to business.<br />

AUTHOR – Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

IT could be a false dawn, but in recent<br />

days I’ve sensed a return to some<br />

sort of normality in the business<br />

world. Not a ‘new normal’ (a phrase<br />

I have already come to detest) but<br />

rather some of the ‘old’ normal with<br />

a desire for human contact and a relationship<br />

with one’s friends and colleagues which isn’t<br />

dictated to by the vagaries of the various ‘team’<br />

platforms.<br />

That’s not to say that the world hasn’t<br />

changed. Initial fears over the virus have<br />

now morphed into a fear of litigation for<br />

failing to provide adequate protection for<br />

one’s employees as they return to work. That<br />

has left some companies stymied and others<br />

persuading themselves that ‘working from<br />

home’ has been a great success. Has it? When<br />

I read or hear that productivity has increased<br />

and employee wellbeing has improved, I’m<br />

not convinced. Productivity has improved<br />

against what benchmark, as we’ve never been<br />

here before? And are employees really better<br />

off working from home? I hear just as many<br />

stories of people desperate to return to work<br />

for the simple need to get out of their houses<br />

and interact with something other than a twoyear<br />

old or a pot noodle.<br />


I think of the last few months as living in<br />

rarified air, and now we are all being jerked<br />

back to a harsh reality. And whereas some<br />

things have changed, others haven’t. Take<br />

the world of collections. On the one hand, we<br />

know – and it has been reported in this journal<br />

previously – that collections volumes have<br />

increased, settlements have increased, and<br />

calls to debt advice lines have plummeted.<br />

Given the economic crisis, this may all<br />

sound counter-intuitive, but it appears that<br />

many people in debt have chosen to take<br />

advantage of furloughs, payment holidays and<br />

a reduction in outgoings through not travelling<br />

to work and not being able to go away to settle<br />

up their debts and get their respective houses<br />

in order. For they know a storm is coming.<br />

Indeed, we all know a storm is coming, and<br />

that’s where the reality bit comes in.<br />

Payment holidays have helped a great many<br />

consumers no doubt, but there is now a danger<br />

of a new ‘division’ between the ‘have’s’ and the<br />

‘have not’s’. Those who could, and have used<br />

Government measures and their own change<br />

in circumstances to address their debt levels<br />

are likely to emerge from the crisis in a much<br />

better place than those who did not. Those<br />

who did not, either through misfortune,<br />

ignorance or deliberate intent, could now<br />

find themselves in a desperately parlous state,<br />

and giving a whole new meaning to the word<br />

‘vulnerability’.<br />

Most commentators agree that this is<br />

a period of hiatus. Payment holidays are<br />

coming to an end. Many employees who<br />

were furloughed are now earmarked for<br />

redundancy. Some who were on zero-hours<br />

contract fell between the gaps and are already<br />

seriously struggling. The problem is that those<br />

who can least afford to lose their jobs are<br />

the ones who are most often impacted. Our<br />

challenge as an industry is how do we help?<br />

What does our response look like?<br />

In the business world, there is also the<br />

feeling of the Phoney War about it. The Spectre<br />

at the Feast. Insolvency Practitioners are<br />

predicting business failures in their hundreds<br />

of thousands and are gearing up accordingly<br />

to help save those they can and liquidate<br />

those they can’t. But then not every business<br />

or every sector is failing. Tesco, for example,<br />

is hiring almost as many as British Airways is<br />

making redundant. The aerospace industry is<br />

in freefall whereas the online market has gone<br />

inter-galactic.<br />

Where it will all end, nobody really knows.<br />

Do we really expect to see large corporates<br />

abandon their London HQs wholesale and<br />

move to the country, citing COVID-19 as a<br />

convenient excuse for a long-held desire to<br />

cut costs? Will the City become a ghost town?<br />

Who can tell. All I do know, is that nothing will<br />

surprise me either way.<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong> Chief Executive of the<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

(CI<strong>CM</strong>).<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 9


Fire Hazard<br />

What happens to the Pre-Pack Pool in the light of no CIGA?<br />

AUTHOR – David Kerr FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

David Kerr FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

PERHAPS one of the most<br />

surprising items of news<br />

from the summer of this<br />

extraordinary year has been<br />

the absence of the expected<br />

surge in insolvency numbers.<br />

The lockdown has certainly taken its toll on<br />

the economy, with the rapid loss of a fifth<br />

of our national output, but the short-term<br />

success of the Government’s emergency<br />

measures has saved many businesses from<br />

going under – for now!<br />

Those measures included the Corporate<br />

Insolvency & Governance Act (CIGA) relief,<br />

with its temporary reprieve from the<br />

risks of personal liability for directors, a<br />

halt to compulsory winding-up, and new<br />

permanent measures intended to help<br />

companies survive. Additionally, of course,<br />

there were loans through the furlough<br />

scheme which has seen Treasury cover 80<br />

percent of wages for millions of employees.<br />

As this support is withdrawn, Insolvency<br />

Practitioners (IPs) expect to see an upturn in<br />

insolvencies.<br />

The parliamentary debate on CIGA, as<br />

the Bill wound its way through the Houses,<br />

provoked some of the expected broader<br />

discussion on insolvency matters generally,<br />

and the subject of pre-packs was amongst<br />

those receiving an airing – notwithstanding<br />

the absence of any provisions in the Bill on<br />

this procedure. But in fact that was precisely<br />

the problem, in that the Government had let<br />

the review deadline set in the 2015 legislation<br />

pass by in May without any announcement<br />

of its intention one way or the other on the<br />

need for further legislative measures.<br />

This was picked up in the Lords’ debate,<br />

and brought about an amendment to CIGA,<br />

accepted by Government, to mark this<br />

forward twelve months. We are not likely<br />

to see pre-packs banned – not even those<br />

to connected parties – so, with another<br />

year in which to deliberate, what might the<br />

Government do?<br />


The Pre-Pack Pool (PPP) was set up on the<br />

back of a recommendation in the Graham<br />

report to review sales to connected parties<br />

in administrations, but it steered away<br />

from directly second-guessing IPs’ sale<br />

decisions and was based on voluntary<br />

applications by prospective purchasers<br />

– part of a suite of measures to improve<br />

stakeholder confidence and avoid the need<br />

for legislation. No compulsion regarding<br />

the PPP – though Graham now supports<br />

mandatory pool scrutiny to retain connected<br />

party pre-packs in their present form, as PPP<br />

usage has fallen away to the point where its<br />

latest annual reports confirmed it had just<br />

24 referrals in 2018 (10 percent of eligible<br />

cases, i.e. connected party purchases from<br />

administrators through a pre-pack), down<br />

to eight percent in 2019. Interestingly, PPP<br />

referrals in <strong>2020</strong> to end August total 27.<br />

Arguably, there are two consequences<br />

that may flow from this low level of activity –<br />

one directly for the PPP, and another for the<br />

profession as a whole. A direct consequence<br />

A review of some SIPs<br />

has been underway<br />

over the summer, and<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> has contributed<br />

its comments with<br />

input from the<br />

Technical Committee,<br />

and more recently<br />

there have been<br />

some developments<br />

with the Breathing<br />

Space proposals for<br />

individuals in financial<br />

difficulty.<br />

for the PPP is potential insolvency! We<br />

might assume the professional bodies will<br />

stump up the necessary funds to avoid<br />

PPP going bust, but nevertheless, a rather<br />

embarrassing situation. However, of greater<br />

importance perhaps is the perceived failure<br />

of PPP to meet its objective of addressing<br />

stakeholder (i.e. mainly, creditor) concern<br />

about connected party pre-pack deals that<br />

can sometimes look at least a little too cosy<br />

to some, or generate noise about abuse<br />

amongst others.<br />

Assessment on whether the PPP has<br />

failed in terms of its purpose is something<br />

the Insolvency Service will no doubt opine<br />

on shortly, with publication of the findings<br />

of its review into pre-packs. It would not be<br />

unreasonable, however, to point to the fact<br />

that, when engaged, the PPP has done what<br />

was asked of it. It has turned around opinions<br />

from pool members in double-quick time,<br />

well within its 48-hour target and usually<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 10


AUTHOR – David Kerr FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

within 24 hours. It has reviewed 100+ cases<br />

since its inception and most of its opinions<br />

have concluded that the pre-pack deals were<br />

not unreasonable in the circumstances –<br />

sometimes going further, as in the recently<br />

reported Everest case where the pool member<br />

commented that the pre-pack was the best<br />

course of action for customers and staff (hmm<br />

– but what about creditors, do I hear you ask?).<br />

Critics might rightly question what<br />

happens in the 90 percent of cases that are not<br />

referred to the PPP. How many of those deals<br />

would pass the test of independent scrutiny?<br />

We simply don’t know; though we do know<br />

from IPs’ statements that there is a good level<br />

of compliance generally, and that regulators<br />

are looking not only at compliance but also at<br />

the soundness of the transaction as a whole<br />

(up to a point). And we should remember that<br />

a pre-pack may be saving a business and jobs<br />

when that business might otherwise cease<br />

trading with probably a worse outcome for<br />

creditors.<br />


As creditors, do you value PPP opinions, and<br />

act upon them in decisions about future<br />

trade? There’s little evidence for that. Are<br />

creditors making as much noise about prepacks<br />

now as five years ago? [A test Graham<br />

set as a barometer for the success or otherwise<br />

of the voluntary measures]. Perhaps not. The<br />

number of cases remains modest, though there<br />

has been a 40 percent increase in pre-packs<br />

since 2015. But as the recent parliamentary<br />

debate and some press coverage illustrates,<br />

an aroma of doubt lingers – unhealthily so for<br />

the profession and its reputation.<br />

Perhaps PPP referrals could be made<br />

compulsory to ‘prove’ the reasonableness of<br />

the 90 percent currently unseen by the PPP?<br />

Would that knock all the negative arguments<br />

on the head once and for all? Particularly if<br />

the IP were invited to submit information to<br />

the PPP to ensure that it had all the necessary<br />

facts? PPP comfortably has the capacity to<br />

cope with 200+ referrals per annum.<br />

Arguably the profession needs PPP to<br />

succeed and be seen to do so, as it has a<br />

symbolic presence as an embodiment of<br />

collaboration and the profession’s willingness<br />

and ability to respond to concerns – and an<br />

importance in that regard that should not be<br />

lost on those who wish to maintain the present<br />

professional body/peer-led regulation regime<br />

that is under threat from the next big Service<br />

review on possible measures for a new single<br />

regulator, and on which the Government is<br />

due to publish its proposals later this year.<br />

Can the profession afford to see the PPP fail?<br />

A last thought on the PPP – we should not<br />

underestimate the independence it provides in<br />

the opinions given. Pool members are engaged<br />

on a rota basis that is largely automated and<br />

free of manipulation or undue influence<br />

– least of all by the prospective purchaser;<br />

yes, the purchaser pays and submits the<br />

information (though at present the IP can,<br />

and sometimes does, submit information as<br />

well) – but the purchaser doesn’t choose the<br />

reviewer and cannot easily discard or ignore<br />

the opinion provided. As a creditor, wouldn’t<br />

you value that independence?<br />


There are of course other regulatory levers<br />

besides the PPP, not least the regulatory<br />

requirements alluded to above (principally<br />

around transparency/disclosure) in Statement<br />

of Insolvency Practice 16 (which sets out what<br />

should be disclosed to all creditors and is a<br />

summary of the transaction, why it was in<br />

creditors’ best interests and the best option<br />

available) and the regulators’ reviews of those<br />

statements – though it should be noted that<br />

not all the Recognised Professional Bodies<br />

(RPBs) have been reviewing all of them – one<br />

opting instead for sample reviews (less than<br />

one in eight).<br />

This and other figures relating to the<br />

operations of the RPBs have been published<br />

recently in the Service’s annual report on IP<br />

regulation. Always a riveting read of course,<br />

it highlights everything from the number of<br />

inspection visits to statistics on complaints<br />

received, and in both cases the actions taken.<br />

It may not contain many startling facts, but<br />

it provides transparency about the levels of<br />

activity in the regulatory arena.<br />

A review of some SIPs has been underway<br />

over the summer, and CI<strong>CM</strong> has contributed<br />

its comments with input from the Technical<br />

Committee, and more recently there have<br />

been some developments with the Breathing<br />

Space proposals for individuals in financial<br />

difficulty. It was a little surprising, perhaps,<br />

that these did not form part of the CIGA relief,<br />

with maybe an accelerated timetable for the<br />

introduction of these new provisions, but at<br />

least they are on course for implementation<br />

in May next year. Draft regulations have been<br />

published outlining how this will work.<br />

Remember that the 60-day breathing space<br />

period, while individuals with problem debts<br />

are receiving advice, will see enforcement<br />

action from creditors halted and interest<br />

frozen. And with redundancies following the<br />

withdrawal of furlough, and some directors<br />

struggling to deal with personal guarantees<br />

on company debts, expect to see the demand<br />

for personal debt solutions rising. No time for<br />

that cigar!<br />

David Kerr FCI<strong>CM</strong> is an insolvency<br />

practitioner with extensive regulatory<br />

experience and a member of the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Technical Committee.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 11



HOME?<br />

How are CIVEA members helping<br />

local authorities recover from the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

AUTHOR – Russell Hamblin-Boone<br />

WITH the Government<br />

encouraging people<br />

back to work and<br />

schools implementing<br />

special measures to<br />

protect children, we are<br />

beginning to take stock of the long-term effects<br />

of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local authorities<br />

that endured post-credit crunch austerity<br />

measures have found themselves with funding<br />

shortfalls. The Institute of Fiscal Studies<br />

estimates that local councils in England will<br />

have to find £2bn to cover both the response<br />

to the coronavirus pandemic and the loss of<br />

income from lockdown.<br />

It is with some relief, therefore, that civil<br />

enforcement visits have been able to resume<br />

from 24 August, in accordance with new<br />

Government guidelines. But it has taken a huge<br />

effort for enforcement agents to be able to<br />

return to work safely.<br />

CIVEA members (who make up over 90<br />

percent of the entire enforcement industry)<br />

voluntarily suspended enforcement visits a<br />

month ahead of the Government’s statutory ban.<br />

In April, we began working on a post-lockdown<br />

support plan and by the beginning of May had<br />

shared our proposals with the Government.<br />

We recognised at an early stage that to<br />

simply restart enforcement visits once the<br />

Government eases restrictions would not be<br />

responsible. Therefore, our plan involved<br />

a policy of reconnection to engage with<br />

customers to understand how they have been<br />

affected by the COVID-19 crisis and respond<br />

as appropriate. CIVEA members sent template<br />

letters to anyone who had missed a payment or<br />

been out of contact. Repayments rates remained<br />

high throughout the lockdown period, so it was<br />

important to understand which people were not<br />

keeping up their debt repayments and why.<br />


Individuals were given at least 30 days’ notice<br />

of a visit by an enforcement agent, instead of<br />

the usual 14 days, unless the local authority<br />

had specific requirements. This attempt at early<br />

re-engagement helped to prevent additional<br />

fees being added to the outstanding debt.<br />

In addition to communicating with<br />

customers, we were concerned for our agents<br />

and the public when visits restarted. To<br />

ensure that health and safety procedures were<br />

embedded across the industry, we designed a<br />

bespoke training programme. This included<br />

training on the effective use of protective<br />

equipment and social distancing requirements,<br />

how agents must protect themselves and those<br />

that they encounter in the community. This<br />

was supplemented by refresher training on<br />

supporting vulnerable people and recognising<br />

new features of post-lockdown vulnerability.<br />

Over 10 weeks we have trained almost 1,700<br />

enforcement agents on the new style of<br />

enforcement visits.<br />

In accordance with CIVEA safe working<br />

practices, visits are contactless. Enforcement<br />

agents do not enter residential premises to take<br />

control of goods, unless there are exceptional<br />

circumstances, and it is deemed safe for the<br />

agent and members of the public.<br />

The majority of enforcement payments are<br />

made by telephone before an enforcement<br />

agent is required to visit or after a letter has been<br />

left. When visits are necessary, enforcement<br />

agent practice social distancing, comply with<br />

enhanced hygiene techniques (including<br />

disinfecting their equipment) and are issued<br />

with additional protective equipment. This is<br />

in full compliance with the Government and<br />

Public Health England advice.<br />

The extensive preparations have proved<br />

successful with encouraging reports from our<br />

members about the first weeks of enforcement<br />

visits. Enforcement firms and councils have<br />

had a good response with people resuming<br />

payments. Enforcement agents are reporting<br />

that the procedures are workable and helpful.<br />

People are appreciative that agents are taking<br />

precautions and responding by making<br />

payments.<br />


Enforcement visits are essential for councils<br />

to be able to provide the right support to their<br />

residents. There are no interest charges and<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 12


AUTHOR – Russell Hamblin-Boone<br />

A blanket ban on<br />

enforcement visits is a<br />

blunt instrument that<br />

would put more councils<br />

in jeopardy and create<br />

more problems.<br />

the fees are set by the Government. Those who<br />

oppose the resumption of enforcement are<br />

primarily concerned about council tax debt. The<br />

courts have a backlog, so there will be a lag of<br />

months before overdue council tax is enforced.<br />

The priority will be to enforce magistrates’ courts<br />

fines, traffic offences and other penalties. Of<br />

course, councils do not want to pursue people<br />

who can’t pay, but we need enforcement visits,<br />

not least to be able to identify those in need.<br />

According to a BBC survey during lockdown<br />

there were 150 councils at risk of financial<br />

problems. One council reported losing £500m<br />

each month of lockdown in parking charges<br />

alone. A YouGov survey that we commissioned<br />

recently showed that two thirds of the public<br />

The courts have a<br />

backlog, so there<br />

will be a lag of<br />

months before<br />

overdue council<br />

tax is enforced.<br />

The priority will<br />

be to enforce<br />

magistrates’<br />

courts fines, traffic<br />

offences and other<br />

penalties.<br />

are worried about local services being put at<br />

risk if people do not pay their council tax. Over<br />

80 percent think non-payment would get worse<br />

if councils could not use enforcement agents.<br />

A blanket ban on enforcement visits is a blunt<br />

instrument that would put more councils in<br />

jeopardy and create more problems.<br />

These are unusual times and the enforcement<br />

sector has led the way in implementing a plan<br />

that enables councils to recover much-needed<br />

funds safely and responsibly, while at the same<br />

time ensuring the most vulnerable are insulated<br />

from the impact of the pandemic.<br />

Russell Hamblin-Boone is Chief Executive of<br />

the Civil Enforcement Association.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 13

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 14

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 15



The importance of telling the right credit story.<br />

AUTHOR – Aneesh Varma<br />

I<br />

find myself reflecting more and more at<br />

the moment on the need for stories. In<br />

direct distraction to the statistic-filled<br />

headlines we are greeted with daily,<br />

stories can help us relax and switch off<br />

- some light relief from the heavy world<br />

that surrounds us.<br />

Stories also help us to understand. They are<br />

how we remember disparate facts and figures,<br />

providing context to our lives and to our beliefs.<br />

They are what we consciously or unconsciously<br />

seek out. It’s the likely reason you picked up<br />

this magazine and selected this article - that<br />

intrinsically human quest for a good story.<br />

And every one of us has a different story to<br />

tell. Jobs, relationships, education - our choices<br />

throughout our lives correlate with our future<br />

- and this, in turn, shapes the financial story<br />

we must serve to lenders when it comes to<br />

accessing credit.<br />

Although we don’t do we? Not really. Because<br />

the traditional bureau data relied upon in today’s<br />

credit ecosystem only serves some of us, not all<br />

of us, effectively. With the right technology, and<br />

- crucially - the right data in place, this system<br />

can be upgraded for everyone’s benefit.<br />


This lack of clarity has been exasperated by the<br />

recent seismic changes we’ve seen across the<br />

credit ecosystem over the last six months.<br />

Measures introduced to combat COVID-19 in<br />

March had an understandably dramatic impact<br />

on consumer credit behaviour.<br />

We stopped buying cars (levels of new motor<br />

finance lending extended to UK consumers<br />

plummeted by 94 percent in the first month of<br />

lockdown) and we were prevented from buying<br />

houses (mortgage approvals halved in April and<br />

fell again to just a third of ‘normal’ levels during<br />

May).<br />

Meanwhile, consumers who could, took<br />

significant steps to reduce their existing<br />

borrowing, reducing their exposure to credit<br />

products such as credit cards and personal<br />

loans by £18bn between February and June. We<br />

also know that leading providers of personal<br />

loans, credit cards and retail finance have also<br />

written substantially less new business due to<br />

the pandemic.<br />

While the motor finance market had recovered<br />

relatively quickly since the start of lockdown:<br />

bouncing back to pre-COVID new business<br />

levels as soon as June - providers of other<br />

forms of consumer credit will have to be more<br />

patient. And with shock and unpredictability<br />

comes caution from the consumer. The OECD’s<br />

measure of consumer confidence (a key<br />

The best data<br />

rests with the<br />

consumer<br />

themselves. We<br />

call this firstparty<br />

data and<br />

it is both unique<br />

and powerful in<br />

offering lenders<br />

the most<br />

up-to-date view<br />

of their customer<br />

imaginable.<br />

indicator of borrowing appetite) plummeted<br />

between February and May, reaching levels not<br />

seen since 2008. While confidence since then<br />

shows green shoots of recovery, the figures<br />

suggest that, as UK consumers, we’ll be saving<br />

more when we can and making fewer big-ticket<br />

purchases for the foreseeable future.<br />


But those of us that can afford to be more<br />

cautious are the lucky ones. Unfortunately, the<br />

impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods is placing<br />

many more of us into sudden and unexpected<br />

financial difficulty. At a then unrealised but now<br />

pivotal moment to have done so, in February<br />

of this year Aire conducted some consumer<br />

research to take the pulse of the consumer<br />

credit market at that time.<br />

Figures showed us that eight in every 10 UK<br />

adults would have been unable to cover essential<br />

monthly spending should they experience a 20<br />

percent reduction in income. Even at that point,<br />

2.4m UK consumers were slipping further into<br />

debt each month, while another 4.1m spent<br />

everything they earned on ‘essentials’.<br />

We don’t need new research to know that<br />

the situation is far worse today. 730,000 fewer<br />

people were on UK payrolls in July compared to<br />

March, while 9.6m had been furloughed as part<br />

of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.<br />

The challenges of job losses and falling<br />

incomes have already caused millions to seek<br />

support from lenders. UK Finance figures<br />

show that one in six mortgages were subject<br />

to payment holidays in June. Lenders had also<br />

granted 992,400 credit card payment deferrals,<br />

provided 686,500 payment holidays on personal<br />

loans and offered 27m interest-free overdrafts.<br />

The number of unemployed will inevitably<br />

rise as the job retention scheme is phased<br />

out by the end of the month, causing further<br />

difficulties for millions already struggling while<br />

on furlough. The predictions are grim, with the<br />

Bank of England expecting unemployment to<br />

hit 7.5 percent this year in line with other G7<br />

economies.<br />

But lenders have a clear responsibility in this<br />

climate to serve their customers proactively.<br />

They must look for new ways to detect emerging<br />

risks on the consumer’s behalf and must now<br />

focus on early intervention and assistance<br />

rather than waiting for the fog to clear to pick<br />

up the pieces.<br />


To do this, lenders must look to the validity of<br />

alternative data sources to help. Gathered not<br />

from the bureaus, or from social media, but<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 16


AUTHOR – Aneesh Varma<br />

from the individual. The best data rests<br />

with the consumer themselves. We call<br />

this first-party data and it is both unique<br />

and powerful in offering lenders the most<br />

up-to-date view of their customer<br />

imaginable. From furlough or redundancy<br />

to an increase in hours due to a flourishing<br />

business, first-party data provides us<br />

with the individual set of circumstances<br />

that contribute to the consumer’s overall<br />

picture of financial health - or difficulty.<br />

Most importantly, it also starts to<br />

shift the power balance, allowing the<br />

individual to contribute to their own story<br />

and to have a say in how lenders perceive<br />

their current circumstances — delivering<br />

the system upgrade the credit ecosystem<br />

so clearly requires.<br />

Because now is the opportunity to focus<br />

on building that picture of the consumer,<br />

based on their own individual story:<br />

how are they doing right now, not three<br />

months or three years ago? How does he<br />

or she view their career; the stability of<br />

that job; their savings? What is his or her<br />

attitude towards their finances? How does<br />

their partner’s income impact their own<br />

financial wellbeing?<br />

Today, due to technology, it is possible<br />

to gather and interpret a wealth of firstparty<br />

information directly from the<br />

consumer - quickly, efficiently and at<br />

scale. This vital context augments the<br />

view of the consumer gained through<br />

historical sources and provides the<br />

validated, holistic view lenders need<br />

to treat customers fairly, understand<br />

those experiencing difficulties, and keep<br />

lending profitably.<br />

In the current climate, we’ve seen<br />

demand from lenders looking for<br />

solutions in customer management grow.<br />

While this need to identify a consumer’s<br />

current affordability and risk of financial<br />

difficulty with new data has always been<br />

significant, it becomes critical in the<br />

current circumstances.<br />

Let’s return now to the importance of<br />

a good story. When it comes to credit,<br />

ultimately this is about translating<br />

the individual story of each consumer<br />

better, quicker and more easily for<br />

lenders, based on their current financial<br />

circumstances. The full story, the holistic<br />

picture, the truth. Now, and in the months<br />

ahead, we owe consumers that fairness<br />

of representation - let’s not keep them<br />

waiting too long.<br />

Aneesh Varma is Founder and CEO, Aire<br />

Aneesh Varma<br />

Today, due to<br />

technology, it is<br />

possible to gather and<br />

interpret a wealth of<br />

first-party information<br />

directly from the<br />

consumer - quickly,<br />

efficiently and at scale.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 17

Growing Pains<br />

An anxious time ahead for the UK agricultural sector.<br />

AUTHOR – Markus Kuger<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 18


AUTHOR – Markus Kuger<br />

IN the Middle Ages, the majority<br />

of the working population were<br />

either farmers or farmhands. It was<br />

an industry that sat at the heart of<br />

Medieval economics. It may be a<br />

far throw from today’s society, but<br />

agriculture is arguably still one of the most<br />

important contributors to the UK economy.<br />

The sector is worth £120bn and employs<br />

approximately 4 million people.<br />

For centuries farming has traditionally<br />

been a family enterprise and most agricultural<br />

businesses in the UK today are still classified<br />

as ‘micro’ businesses. Dun & Bradstreet data<br />

shows that these micro businesses make up<br />

95 percent of the active business population<br />

within the agricultural sector.<br />

Many of these businesses are well<br />

established and our data indicates that more<br />

than half have been in operation for 20 years,<br />

with 15.2 percent of business being over a<br />

decade old according to Dun & Bradstreet’s<br />

proprietary data. As seasoned businesses,<br />

many within the sector will have survived and<br />

learnt from significant events and evolution in<br />

the industry such as swine flu, Mad Cow disease<br />

and TB outbreaks, the outcry over genetically<br />

modified crops, and a rise in demand for plantbased<br />

products. In addition to the current<br />

COVID-19 situation, farmers are also facing<br />

changes to subsidies and regulations due to<br />

Brexit.<br />

But the repercussions of Brexit and<br />

COVID-19 mean that farmers and the<br />

agricultural industry are facing turbulent<br />

times, including changes to subsidies and<br />

regulations. The Medieval foundations of<br />

farming are being shaken to the core and<br />

placing pressure on farmers to adapt to an<br />

evolving environment and assess the potential<br />

risk and opportunity for their business as they<br />

move into the next decade.<br />


The turbulence in the market over the past<br />

few years and especially recently, has resulted<br />

in some casualties. According to Dun &<br />

Bradstreet’s proprietary data, the number of<br />

UK farming businesses has dropped in the last<br />

four years from 100,198 to 95,317. However,<br />

the number of corporate liquidations in the<br />

sector have stayed relatively flat over the past<br />

two years – although this may change as the<br />

full impact of COVID-19 and the UK’s exit from<br />

the EU becomes clearer.<br />

Positively, our data shows that payment<br />

behaviour in the agriculture industry is<br />

higher than average for the UK, with a higher<br />

percentage of payments being made promptly<br />

by the industry. The amount of bills being paid<br />

on time has risen by 5.5 percent to 57.2 percent<br />

between May 2017 to May <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Payment performance for the agricultural<br />

sector in Scotland is the highest across the UK,<br />

60%<br />

40%<br />

20%<br />

0%<br />

Percentage of Business by Age as of May <strong>2020</strong><br />

0<br />

1-5<br />

6-10<br />

Business Age in Years<br />

with just under three quarters (74.7 percent) of<br />

payments made on time. Performance worsens<br />

in areas such as Yorkshire, the South East,<br />

South West and North East, but bills are still<br />

being paid at the average rate.<br />

In contrast, the payment performance<br />

of agricultural business in regions such as<br />

Northern Ireland, Greater London, Greater<br />

Manchester, West Midlands and Wales is below<br />

the national average. The latest data shows<br />

positive trends across the industry including<br />

an improvement in prompt payments,<br />

increasing tangible assets and tangible net<br />

worth and a year-on-year increase in sales<br />

of 19 percent, potentially driven by higher<br />

demand for locally sourced food throughout<br />

the pandemic.<br />

However, the high demand throughout<br />

the pandemic is likely to be short-lived as<br />

the UK will enter a deep recession and we<br />

are predicting UK real GDP will contract by<br />

almost ten percent in <strong>2020</strong>. This will have an<br />

effect on household incomes and the longterm<br />

demand for food is expected to decrease.<br />

The rising number of failing businesses is also<br />

concerning given the economic importance of<br />

the sector and debt levels steadily increased<br />

since 2017 with profits decreasing by a third (36<br />

percent) over the same period.<br />

Brexit and COVID-19 are only adding to the<br />

challenges faced and the industry faces yet<br />

more turbulent time and are going to have to<br />

be even more astute in their financial decisions<br />

going forward in order to survive the pending<br />

recession and sluggish economic environment.<br />


The uncertainty of the UK’s exit from the EU<br />

and potential end of free trade across Europe is<br />

weighing heavily on the agricultural industry<br />

with decisions still pending on subsidies, trade<br />

arrangements and labour mobility.<br />

11-20<br />

20+<br />

With one eye on<br />

the future, the New<br />

Trade and Agriculture<br />

Commission recently<br />

announced a set of new<br />

trade policies to better<br />

identify and open up<br />

opportunities for UK<br />

farmers, especially for<br />

SMEs.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 19<br />

continues on page 20 >


AUTHOR – Markus Kuger<br />

First, agricultural exports to Europe have doubled over<br />

the decade to £22bn making it the country’s fourth largest<br />

exporting sector. Any change to export arrangements<br />

could have a significant impact on the financial health<br />

of farming businesses. For example, one third of British<br />

lamb is currently sold to the EU. Should UK-EU trade be<br />

conducted under World Trade Organization rules from 1<br />

January 2021 on, high tariffs and quotas would weigh on<br />

the competitiveness of UK farmers (but would also shield<br />

the country from some imports).<br />

Second, the UK’s agricultural industry relies on<br />

international employees to help bolster the seasonal<br />

workforce. This year it’s estimated that the industry will<br />

need to find 70,000 additional seasonal workers to meet<br />

demands.<br />

For instance, Bulgarian employees were flown in at<br />

the beginning of lockdown to help work on UK farms<br />

and prevent a food shortage. If access to this type of<br />

temporary labour resource was no longer available, it<br />

would be harder for farmers to meet demands.<br />

With one eye on the future, the New Trade and<br />

Agriculture Commission recently announced a set<br />

of new trade policies to better identify and open up<br />

opportunities for UK farmers, especially for SMEs.<br />


The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on the<br />

agriculture industry. Stockpiling in supermarkets caused<br />

the demand for farming and food manufacturers to<br />

skyrocket. However, some areas of agriculture have taken<br />

a blow. Dairy farmers, for instance, have seen a decrease<br />

in demands due to the closure of restaurants and cafes<br />

who would usually be a big source of income for them.<br />

Worryingly, recent developments in the hospitality<br />

sector do not bode well for the agricultural sector.<br />

Several casual dining chains including Café Rouge, Zizzi,<br />

Bella Italia and Ask, either went into administration,<br />

have announced outlet closures or are seeking buyers<br />

as footfall is still significantly down despite the gradual<br />

easing of lockdown measures. Casual dining chain Prezzo<br />

(which had recorded a pre-tax loss of almost GBP30m<br />

in 2018) had only opened 35 of its 180 restaurants until<br />

mid-July as demand was too low to justify opening more<br />

outlets. With social distancing measures likely to stay in<br />

place for the foreseeable future, pressure on the sector<br />

will remain elevated during <strong>2020</strong>-21 with knock-on<br />

effects for British farmers.<br />

As we look ahead to the end of lockdown, the outlook<br />

for the agriculture industry is uncertain. A recent rural<br />

report found 80 percent of respondents said they expect<br />

profits to fall in <strong>2020</strong>, with more than a third (35 percent)<br />

stating the disruption would be significant.<br />

It’s no doubt an anxious time for many. But if we<br />

look back once more to the agriculture of the Middle<br />

Ages, farmers living with fewer resources overcame and<br />

survived widespread disruption such as epidemics and<br />

revolts. With more data and knowledge at their fingertips<br />

to identify risk and opportunities, the future is not all<br />

bleak for the farming industry and it’s likely that most<br />

businesses will weather the storm.<br />

60%<br />

40%<br />

20%<br />

0%<br />

Prompt Payments on Average<br />

by the Agriculture Industry<br />

May<br />

2017<br />

May<br />

2018<br />

May<br />

2019<br />

May<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

It’s no doubt an anxious time for many.<br />

But if we look back once more to the<br />

agriculture of the Middle Ages, farmers<br />

living with fewer resources overcame<br />

and survived widespread disruption<br />

such as epidemics and revolts.<br />

Markus Kuger is Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 20




Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong> talks to Karen Savage<br />

about litigation, mathematics and the<br />

dream of becoming a buyer for Gucci.<br />

KAREN Savage says she went<br />

into Law because she was great<br />

at English and mediocre at<br />

maths: “My father worked in<br />

finance and was always very<br />

disappointed that neither my<br />

sister nor I inherited his gift for numbers.”<br />

Born in Steyning, West Sussex to an English<br />

mother and an Italian father, Karen remembers<br />

growing up in a house that was nicely chaotic:<br />

“Both parents were very entrepreneurial, my<br />

mother ran her own business while my father<br />

worked for Bernie Ecclestone, the motor racing<br />

chief. This meant he worked very long days and<br />

nights and during his holidays as part of that<br />

team. I may not have inherited my father’s gift<br />

for numbers, but I did inherit my parents work<br />

ethic and my father’s love of high-performance<br />

cars. Though having children meant my cars<br />

became more sensible over the years!”<br />

At a local Grammar School, Karen was among<br />

the last of her cohort to take ‘O’ Levels before<br />

progressing to ‘A’ Levels and the possibility<br />

of university. Careers’ advice at that time had<br />

been virtually non-existent (“I can’t recall if<br />

they had any at all,” she laughs), although Karen<br />

fancied herself working in advertising or PR: “I<br />

always used to love Coca Cola advertisements<br />

at Christmas and was fascinated by the concept<br />

of customer recognition, creating brand loyalty<br />

and customer ease of purchase.<br />

As it was, Karen opted for a different path:<br />

“One of my ‘A’ Levels was Law and whilst taking<br />

a year off after 6th form to travel and consider<br />

university I saw an advertisement for a job as a<br />

litigation assistant at Winchester City Council.<br />

It was a role that included studying for an ILEX<br />

(Institute of Legal Executives) qualification<br />

which meant I could earn and learn at the same<br />

time. I loved that idea so applied.”<br />


The job gave Karen early exposure to a broad<br />

range of legal affairs, from drafting and serving<br />

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on centuries’<br />

old Oaks on high valued estates through to<br />

Forfeiture Proceedings, Insurance Claims<br />

against the Council, Local Authority Right-to-<br />

Buy schemes and commercial debt recovery.<br />

It was the work she did specifically in debt<br />

recovery that she enjoyed most and decided<br />

to make her career. When the Bournemouthbased<br />

legal practice Lester Aldridge was hiring<br />

for a Litigation Assistant in their Commercial<br />

Team, she jumped at the chance: “This was<br />

back in 1992, and the role also included ILEX<br />

training as part of the package,” she recalls. “I<br />

really enjoyed working in private practice in a<br />

full-service law firm and gained all my litigation<br />

and insolvency experience in my early years at<br />

the firm.”<br />

After finishing the ILEX qualification (in<br />

1996) Karen’s ambition grew and she decided<br />

she would like to become an Equity Partner<br />

(receiving an equity stake in the firm’s profits):<br />

“In most large law firms the path to partnership<br />

is about winning work, managing client<br />

relationships and leading high-performing<br />

teams delivering the legal services. It can take<br />

typically six years or so after qualification to<br />

achieve, depending on the firm. To progress, I<br />

recognised that I had to have the equivalent of<br />

a law degree.”<br />

This presented Karen with something of a<br />

challenge. To convert the ILEX Qualification<br />

to a degree she had to attend Bournemouth<br />

University for three hours (09-00 - 12-00) daily.<br />

The Department Head at Lester Aldridge said it<br />

just wasn’t possible to study for a degree whilst<br />

also working full time and do either well. At<br />

that time, she had been tasked by the firm to<br />

put together a business plan for building and<br />

developing a commercial debt proposition for<br />

target clients. They didn’t reckon on Karen’s<br />

passion: “Nothing is likely to inspire me more<br />

than telling me I can’t do something,” she jokes.<br />

As it was, she persuaded them she could<br />

do both, working from 07:00 until 09:00 in<br />

the morning, before disappearing for three<br />

hours at University, and then returning and<br />

working through to 19:00. It was a gruelling<br />

schedule, but one in which she was determined<br />

to succeed. And she did, passing with a<br />

commendation and elevated immediately<br />

to salaried Partner status at Lester Aldridge.<br />

Later in the same year Karen embarked on her<br />

Masters and during that same period won one of<br />

the largest commercial debt recovery contracts<br />

in the UK worth more than £1m per a year to<br />

the firm.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 21<br />

continues on page 20 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

As a result of that significant client win,<br />

at the age of 26, Karen fulfilled her ambition<br />

of becoming an Equity Partner the following<br />

year. “Whether you make it or not as an<br />

equity partner is all driven by the volume<br />

of income you bring into the business and<br />

winning a huge debt recovery contract worth<br />

more than £1 million a year was (then) the<br />

largest client win for the firm.<br />

“This was a pivotal moment in my career<br />

as Lester Aldridge was a well-known and<br />

respected regional firm but at that time was<br />

dealing mainly with local client. However,<br />

the commercial debt recovery team became a<br />

major player dealing with national blue-chip<br />

clients across the UK and really punching<br />

above its weight.”<br />

Karen spent 20 years at Lester Aldridge<br />

during which time she took over<br />

responsibility for the Banking and Finance<br />

Team, and latterly all Litigation Teams at<br />

the firm. Karen was approached on several<br />

occasions to join national law firms but<br />

declined: “I started my family quite late in<br />

life, and the timing was never quite right to<br />

make a move,” she says.<br />

However, when one of those suitors,<br />

Shoosmiths, approached her for a second<br />

time, she decided to go: “A large part of my<br />

career had been at Lester Aldridge but it<br />

felt the time was right to make the move.<br />

Shoosmiths was looking to build and grow<br />

its B2B recoveries team and it was an exciting<br />

opportunity. Joining a national law firm<br />

like Shoosmiths as an Equity Partner with<br />

its fantastic client base was too good an<br />

opportunity to turn down.”<br />


Karen left Lester Aldridge with Paula Swain,<br />

Chris Moody and others (see interview Credit<br />

Management, April <strong>2020</strong>) and the rest is<br />

history: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at<br />

Shoosmiths, and it remains the best firm I<br />

have worked in,” she adds.<br />

During her time at Shoosmiths, Karen<br />

introduced Azzurro Associates as a new<br />

client, working closely with the CEO, Andrew<br />

Birkwood. In 2019 Andrew asked Karen to<br />

join him, both as Chief Operating Officer of<br />

the commercial debt management solutions<br />

provider but also – with a dual role as Chief<br />

Operating Officer of Azzurro Associates but<br />

also tasked with setting up and building a law<br />

firm, Azzurro Law.<br />

Joining Azzurro, in many ways, was Karen’s<br />

dream job: “It is a business focused purely<br />

in the commercial debt space which I love,<br />

and we are bringing unique and innovative<br />

products to the market.<br />

“I am in a sector that I know well and<br />

drawing on all the experience gained in law<br />

firms over the years. I am helping Andrew<br />

and the team here build and develop the<br />

business. I feel extremely fortunate at this<br />

stage in my career to work with a small team of<br />

ambitious, passionate and driven colleagues<br />

who are all committed to delivering the very<br />

highest standards of customer service and<br />

excellence.”<br />

Karen is certainly busy, supporting Andrew<br />

with new business origination at Azzurro<br />

Associates as well as setting the litigation<br />

and collection strategies for the portfolios<br />

they buy. This includes managing the 16 DCA<br />

and law firms on their panel and managing<br />

external client and partner relationships:<br />

“After 28 years in recoveries, I still get a buzz<br />

around collecting money,” she says, “and<br />

wanting to do a good job for the client.”<br />


Karen has also built Azzurro Law, based at<br />

Southampton Parkway, and is pleased with<br />

progress so far. The Solicitors Regulation<br />

Authority (SRA) approved the company’s<br />

Alternative Business Structure (ABS) license<br />

in June. Azzurro Associates and Azzurro Law<br />

are owned by a $41 billion dollar Fund, and<br />

Karen really enjoys the challenge of working<br />

in the fast paced investment world: “A law<br />

firm structure is very different, as it has<br />

many owners in its equity partners,” she says.<br />

“At Azzurro the flexibility, speed of decision<br />

making, and ideas implementation is unlike<br />

anything I’ve experienced in my career.”<br />

Importantly, Karen stresses, the work<br />

that Azzurro Law performs is not limited to<br />

Azzurro Associates’ own portfolios. It also<br />

actively seeks and works for client’s needing<br />

commercial debt recovery services. Azzurro<br />

Law has two distinct teams, one team that<br />

services the Azzurro Associates portfolios,<br />

and the other that works directly for Azzurro<br />

Law’s Commercial Clients.<br />

Litigation, while a strategy that drifts<br />

in and out of fashion in consumer circles,<br />

prompted largely by the whims of politicians<br />

and the media, has remained comparatively<br />

steadfast in B2B. As Karen says, while it<br />

remains an essential part of an overall debt<br />

recovery strategy, it is still important only to<br />

litigate those cases if it is the right thing to<br />

do.<br />

“Azzurro Law specialises in B2B recoveries<br />

and we have been litigating throughout<br />

COVID-19, on the right cases,” she adds,<br />

“and although enforcement was paused<br />

for several months, that has not prevented<br />

us from litigating cases in the appropriate<br />

circumstances.”<br />

She does say, however, that lines are<br />

becoming increasingly blurred between<br />

‘commercial’ and ‘consumer’ debt, especially<br />

when it comes to dealing with smaller<br />

businesses: “Vulnerability has always been<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 22


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

be but this is uncharted waters for us all. As the<br />

furlough scheme ends, and Government support<br />

falls away, we will no doubt find ourselves<br />

working closely with customers through their<br />

difficulties and finding the right solutions for<br />

all involved. Communication has always been<br />

important, but it will be more important than<br />

ever in the future.”<br />


As regards the CI<strong>CM</strong>, Karen is proud of her<br />

association with the Institute and is an active<br />

supporter of its training and qualifications.<br />

She says the CI<strong>CM</strong> is a tremendous source<br />

of learning and knowledge: “In Azzurro Law<br />

we recruit and mold people in the way we<br />

want them to be and that means supporting<br />

them through training and exams with ILEX<br />

(now CILEX) and the CI<strong>CM</strong>,” she continues.<br />

“A team invariably performs well if they feel<br />

invested in, and I always like to promote from<br />

within.”<br />

This passion for learning extends to other<br />

paths of thinking, and in particular what advice<br />

she would give to her younger self if starting<br />

out again today. Actually, as it transpires, it’s not<br />

a million miles away from what she ended up<br />

doing anyway. University, she says, is not always<br />

the right answer: “Over the years I have seen<br />

many intellectually bright trainee lawyers who<br />

can advise clients on the letter of the law, but<br />

who struggle with providing concise commercial<br />

advice tailored to the client’s circumstances.<br />

Sometimes getting practical experience from an<br />

early age is an advantage.”<br />

While building the team is a full-time job,<br />

and innovation remains her passion, Karen still<br />

finds time for a few outdoor pursuits, including<br />

Paddle Boarding and Kayaking – when the<br />

beaches in her hometown of Poole aren’t overrun<br />

with day-trippers. She also likes to indulge<br />

in her other passions of interior design, travel<br />

and shopping. “Who knows,” she says, “if I<br />

started out all over again, I could have been a<br />

buyer for Gucci.” Let’s hope her maths would<br />

have been up to it.<br />

an issue and continues to be,” she explains.<br />

“Our clients are of course concerned about<br />

their reputational risk and when collecting<br />

from a sole trader or small business we have to<br />

be aware of their particular circumstances and<br />

exercise forbearance when we can. The days<br />

of legal firms sending out blanket winding up<br />

petitions for anything over £750 just to show<br />

how tough they were has long since gone.”<br />

Of the future, there is plenty of uncertainty,<br />

notably around customers’ ability to pay: “It is<br />

a business environment we have never been in<br />

before, so it is difficult to predict the outcome,”<br />

Karen continues.<br />

“During the credit crunch, it was in many ways<br />

easier to understand what impact there would<br />

“It is a business focused purely<br />

in the commercial debt space<br />

which I love, and we are bringing<br />

unique and innovative products<br />

to the market.’’<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 23


Poland is a perfect<br />

example of time<br />

influencing political<br />

change<br />

Mind your Language<br />

PRESENT day Poland is known<br />

for a number of things, not least<br />

of which is its food, the opening<br />

days of World War II, and where<br />

Lech Walesa, and his trade union<br />

Solidarity, opened fissures in the<br />

Communist Bloc that partly led to the downfall<br />

of the Soviet Union.<br />

But look further back in time and it becomes<br />

eminently clear that Poland in its current form<br />

is a recent construct; that its history is long and<br />

reaches back to the Iron Age.<br />

Poland is a perfect example of time influencing<br />

political change. At its zenith in the late 16th<br />

century Poland was one of the largest European<br />

powers, but it ceased to exist after 1795 following<br />

invasions and a carving up of its territory by the<br />

Russians in the east, the Prussians to the west<br />

and the Habsburgs in the south. The short-lived<br />

Second Polish Republic established after World<br />

War I ceased to exist in 1939 and come ‘liberation’<br />

in 1945 the Soviet Union used Poland as a buffer<br />

satellite state.<br />

It wasn’t until 1989 that the Third Polish<br />

Republic came into existence and Poland became<br />

truly independent. The last 31 years have seen<br />

radical change in Poland, especially so since its<br />

accession to the European Union in 2004. And<br />

despite the politicking in recent months with<br />

regard to the presidential election where the<br />

incumbent Andrzej Duda won after a second<br />

round of voting, Poland is stable.<br />


While a country – any country – is more than its<br />

numbers, basic geographic and demographic<br />

statistics help to set the scene.<br />

Geographically, Poland is set deep in the heart<br />

of Europe. With a landmass of 312,685 km2, it’s<br />

larger than the UK with just 242,495 km2 and is<br />

ranked sixth in Europe behind France, Spain,<br />

Sweden, Germany and Finland. It’s 38.1m people<br />

put Poland in fifth place in the EU’s population<br />

table, just four places behind Germany’s 80.4m.<br />

As a comparator, the UK has around 66.6m<br />

inhabitants. Poland is highly urbanised with<br />

some 60 percent living in towns and cities. That<br />

said, Polish cities aren’t huge by UK standards.<br />

The capital Warsaw tops the list with some<br />

1.79m residents. It is followed by Krakow with<br />

a population of 779,115, Lodz with 679,941 and<br />

Wroclaw with 642,896. Tenth in the list is Bialystok<br />

with ‘just’ 297,554 inhabitants. To make the<br />

‘Poland<br />

stands out as a<br />

European growth<br />

champion. With<br />

an uninterrupted<br />

pace of high<br />

growth averaging<br />

4.2 percent per<br />

annum between<br />

1992-2019'<br />

point, Sheffield is the UK’s 10th largest city with<br />

706,000 while London is first with around 9.3m.<br />

Unlike a number of other European countries,<br />

Poland has a strong national identity with an<br />

equally strong Polish diaspora spread around the<br />

world. According to the 2011 census, just under<br />

97 percent of the population considers itself<br />

Polish. There’s also a multitude of ethnicities and<br />

cultural subdivisions that include Jews, Tatars,<br />

Armenians, Greeks, Germans and Vietnamese.<br />


A graph citing World Bank data, but published<br />

by Trading Economics, illustrates just how the<br />

Polish economy has come on since accession<br />

to the European Union. Between 1996 and 2004<br />

its GDP hovered between $140-200bn. But the<br />

following five years saw growth rise almost<br />

exponentially to $533bn (2008) before dropping<br />

back – following the global financial crisis – to<br />

$439bn (2009). Since 2011, however, GDP has<br />

fluctuated between $528bn and $587bn.<br />

Growth has been phenomenal and as<br />

Euronews noted: ‘Poland stands out as a European<br />

growth champion. With an uninterrupted pace<br />

of high growth averaging 4.2 percent per annum<br />

between 1992-2019, Poland is steadily catching<br />

up with Western Europe and has become the<br />

seventh largest economy in the EU.’<br />

It appears that Poland’s position is a result of a<br />

large domestic market, strong economic reform<br />

and an EU-centric set of policies. Beyond that is<br />

an entrepreneurial landscape full of SMEs and a<br />

strong competitive advantage over its European<br />

neighbours. It should be noted at this point that<br />

Poland is not only part of the EU’s external border<br />

but is also a member of the free-movement<br />

Schengen Area, the UN and NATO, the OECD, the<br />

Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrad Group and the<br />

G20.<br />


According to a June 2019 China-CEE Institute<br />

briefing, agriculture is one of the biggest<br />

sectors in the Polish economy which employs<br />

around 12.7 percent of the workforce, some<br />

1.46m workers. But big doesn’t necessarily mean<br />

financially powerful – Eurostat data indicates<br />

that agriculture, forestry and fisheries (in<br />

2018) created just 2.4 percent of Polish GDP. It<br />

should be said that agriculture is predominantly<br />

privately owned in the form of small farms up<br />

to five hectares. Only seven percent of privately-<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

owned farms are greater than 15 hectares in size.<br />

Next comes energy, trade and manufacturing. Last<br />

year (2019) Poland was the world’s 9th largest producer of<br />

coal – some 57 megatons of brown coal and 78 megatons<br />

of hard coal. While most is used domestically, renewable<br />

energy is becoming ever more important as solar, wind<br />

and hydroelectric power have each recorded significant<br />

growth in recent years.<br />

Beyond energy, comes trade and manufacturing,<br />

especially in the fields of automotive, food, metallurgy,<br />

machinery and electromechanical industry, transport,<br />

textile and clothing. Collectively these sectors employ<br />

over 31 percent – 5.25m – of all employees in Poland.<br />

While mining and mineral processing employs<br />

82,700 workers, automotive production has around<br />

130,000 workers and produces around 800,000 to 900,000<br />

light vehicles a year. It accounts for 11 percent of total<br />

industrial output and about 4 percent of the country’s<br />

GDP. The automotive sector in Poland, in particular,<br />

prospered after the country became part of the European<br />

Union; its annual exports are valued at over €15.7bn or 16<br />

percent of the country’s total exports.<br />

But in common with many developed countries,<br />

the biggest part of Polish economy is its service sector<br />

which employs around 9.46m. Apart from tourism (an<br />

understated but growing part of the economy) – this<br />

large group includes civil servants, emergency services,<br />

educationalists and the traditional service businesses<br />

such as entertainment and hospitality. It surprises many<br />

that Poland apparently sees more than 19m tourists, a<br />

number – coronavirus aside – which seems to rise every<br />

year.<br />


A natural question to ask is what does Poland actually<br />

import – where are the market opportunities?<br />

Data published and analysed by World’s Top Exports<br />

(which cites raw data from the US Central Intelligence<br />

Agency, the IMF and International Trade Centre), the<br />

top ten product groups in Poland’s import purchases<br />

during 2019 were, in order: machinery including<br />

computers: US$33.3bn (12.7 percent of total imports);<br />

electrical machinery, equipment: $32.3bn (12.3 percent);<br />

vehicles: $26.2bn (10 percent); mineral fuels including<br />

oil: $20bn (7.6 percent); plastics and plastic articles:<br />

$14.9bn (5.7 percent); iron and steel: $9.1bn (3.5 percent);<br />

pharmaceuticals: $7.5bn (2.9 percent); optical, technical,<br />

medical apparatus: $6.2bn (2.4 percent); articles of iron<br />

or steel: $6bn (2.3 percent), and paper and paper items:<br />

$5bn (1.9 percent).<br />

These imports accounted for over 61 percent of<br />

everything that the country bought from overseas<br />

sources. The data shows that growth categories were<br />

electrical machinery and equipment which rose by five<br />

percent from 2018 to 2019; optical, technical and medical<br />

apparatus (up by 4.3 percent) and machinery including<br />

computers (up 0.6 percent).<br />

Masuria, Poland.<br />

According to a June 2019 China-CEE<br />

Institute briefing, agriculture is one of the<br />

biggest sectors in the Polish economy<br />

which employs around 12.7 percent of the<br />

workforce, some 1.46m workers.<br />


As with the UK, there are a number of forms of<br />

commercial enterprise in Poland that range from the sole<br />

trader, partnerships and corporations. There is also the<br />

option for branch offices and representative offices. In<br />

summary, a sole tradership carries personal liability and<br />

requires no initial capital. The business must be registered<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 25<br />

continues on page 26 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

with Central Economic Activity Register and<br />

Information and the business is exempted<br />

from compulsory social insurance for the<br />

first six months of operation.<br />

A limited partnership requires two or<br />

more natural or legal persons and requires<br />

no share capital. One partner carries<br />

unlimited liability while the other partner(s)<br />

are liable to their limited liability level and<br />

what was owed on their joining. A limited<br />

joint stock partnership is similar except that<br />

it requires minimum capital of PLN 50,000<br />

– general partners carry unlimited liability<br />

while shareholders are not liable beyond<br />

their holding unless their name is part of the<br />

business identity.<br />

A limited liability company is just that and<br />

requires ownership by one or more natural<br />

or legal persons who cover a minimum<br />

share capital of PLN 5,000. Management can<br />

be held liable for debts that belong to the<br />

company. A simple joint stock company is<br />

similar in liability but is designed for startups<br />

and requires just PLN 1 share capital;<br />

liquidation is simple. At the other end of the<br />

scale is joint stock company for large scale<br />

operations. Minimum share capital is PLN<br />

100,000 and management are not liable for<br />

company obligations.<br />

Under Polish law, a branch office has a<br />

separate identity to the entrepreneur and<br />

a foreign owner can carry out the business<br />

in Poland that it carries out elsewhere.<br />

Operation requires entry into the Register of<br />

Entrepreneurs of the National Court Register<br />

with submission of appropriate translated<br />

documents. A representative office is a<br />

subordinate entity of the entrepreneur<br />

and needs to on the Register of Foreign<br />

Entrepreneurs’ Agencies.<br />

There are also rules relating to the<br />

acquisition of real estate and permits are<br />

required for operating in certain sectors<br />

such as alcohol, carriage of goods, iron and<br />

steel, veterinary medicine, gaseous fuels.<br />

Old Town Wroclaw, Poland.<br />


As for employees, the main source of<br />

governance is to be found in the Polish<br />

Labour Code and legislation. In essence,<br />

the code protects those in employment<br />

contracts and makes provision for special<br />

groups (such as pregnant workers who<br />

cannot be laid off, work overtime, at night<br />

without consent, and those within four<br />

years of retirement age). Contracts have to<br />

be written with detail on provisions – fines<br />

await rule-breaking employers.<br />

The code generally allows a maximum<br />

eight-hour day with a 40-hour working week<br />

and a minimum 11 hours rest in any 24-hour<br />

period. Statutory holiday is set at 26 working<br />

days a year (20 days for those with less than<br />

10 years’ service). Firms with 50 or more<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

workers must inform workers of their<br />

right to form a worker’s council which<br />

must be consulted on key business<br />

matters.<br />

Discrimination is banned on a<br />

similar basis to the UK. However,<br />

sexual harassment is covered under<br />

discrimination law. The compensation<br />

that can be awarded starts at a minimum<br />

of the statutory minimum wage (PLN<br />

2600).<br />

Maternity leave varies according to<br />

the number of children a woman bears –<br />

from 20 weeks for one child to 37 weeks<br />

if five or more are born. Paternity leave<br />

is set at two weeks until the child is two<br />

years old.<br />

Poland has its own version of the<br />

transfer of undertakings legislation and<br />

so employees transfer on a business sale;<br />

they cannot be dismissed as a result of<br />

the sale. That said, an employer can<br />

terminate for another reason and then<br />

attempt to re-employ on new terms.<br />

Termination notice varies according<br />

to length of service – two weeks for less<br />

than six months service; one month for<br />

six months or more of service; three<br />

months for three or more years of service.<br />


Corporate Income Tax (CIT) applies to<br />

limited liability companies and joint<br />

stock companies at a rate of 19 percent.<br />

However, a lower rate of nine percent<br />

applies to non-capital revenues and<br />

revenues generated in the tax year below<br />

the Polish equivalent of €2m. For limited<br />

partnerships, Personal Income Tax (PIT),<br />

not CIT, applies.<br />

The Polish VAT is harmonised with<br />

that of the EU. Nevertheless, there are<br />

four tax rates – a basic 23 percent for<br />

the majority of goods and services;<br />

eight percent for specific goods and<br />

services (such as goods related to health<br />

protection, groceries and hotel services);<br />

five percent for some farm produce;<br />

and zero for (in the main) export and<br />

intra-Community supply of goods and<br />

international transport services.<br />

But as with the UK, Polish VAT is<br />

not simple and there is an exemption:<br />

‘Small entrepreneurs’ are exempted if<br />

ex-VAT sales do not exceed PLN 200,000<br />

in the previous tax year – pro rata if they<br />

start business part way through the tax<br />

year. Exemptions do not apply to goods<br />

made of precious metals, goods subject<br />

to excise tax (except for electricity,<br />

tobacco products and passenger cars),<br />

construction sites, new means of<br />

transport, legal or consultancy services.<br />

Every natural person must pay PIT.<br />

However, the Polish system allows some<br />

taxpayers to choose how. Under general<br />

rules, income is taxed at 17 percent and<br />

32 percent above incomes of PLN 85,528;<br />

there’s the option of a flat rate of 19<br />

percent for those running businesses as<br />

a sole trader or partnership; a lump sum<br />

(depending on activity); or via tax card<br />

from the tax office. Dividends are taxed<br />

at 19 percent.<br />

There are three notable tax reliefs<br />

for individuals – Innovation Box which<br />

uses a 5 percent rate on income derived<br />

from intellectual property rights related<br />

to taxpayer activity; R&D relief which<br />

allows the deduction of eligible costs;<br />

and an exemption for those under 26<br />

years from paying tax on income below<br />

PLN 85,528.<br />


Poland is a great place to do business,<br />

but language difficulties may need<br />

overcoming. The gov.pl website – search<br />

for ‘Entrepreneur’s Matters’ – is helpful in<br />

signposting the way on most regulatory<br />

matters, but users will come across<br />

‘English’ webpages that are written in<br />

Polish; a good translator is, in other<br />

words, almost essential.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance<br />

business writer.<br />

Poland is bordered by the<br />

Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and<br />

Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast to<br />

the north, Belarus and Ukraine<br />

to the east, Slovakia and the<br />

Czech Republic to the south, and<br />

Germany to the west.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 27

www.tcmgroup.com<br />

Probably thebest debt collection network worldwide<br />

Moneyknows no borders—neither do we<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 28



What’s in store for our world of work over the<br />

next few months?<br />

AUTHOR – Karen Young<br />

THERE has been much in the<br />

news recently about offices<br />

reopening and what our world<br />

of work is shaping up to look<br />

like as the situation with the<br />

pandemic continues to evolve.<br />

The pace of change remains rapid across<br />

industries not least in credit management, so<br />

in a bid to get a more concrete picture of where<br />

the industry is heading over the next few<br />

months, we reached out to credit professionals<br />

to find out what the major trends are and what<br />

we can expect to see unfold.<br />


A lack of access to the right skills is not a<br />

new phenomenon across credit and the<br />

wider finance industry and according to our<br />

findings, they look set to remain for the near<br />

future. About a third (35 percent) of employers<br />

in credit say they have all the skills they<br />

need in their team to meet organisational<br />

objectives. The top specialist skills they need<br />

are largely unchanged and include finance<br />

and operations.<br />

However, perhaps more than ever employers<br />

are seeking credit professionals with the right<br />

balance of specialist skills and soft skills. The<br />

ability to adopt change came out as the top soft<br />

skill employers in the industry look for which<br />

is unsurprising considering the events of this<br />

year. Change is inevitable, and this year has<br />

shown that we need to be equipped for this<br />

when it happens at pace.<br />

Regardless of whether you are looking for<br />

a new job, take the time to reflect on how we<br />

have adapted in recent months. Consider how<br />

to take these lessons forward to make your<br />

skillset as desirable as it can be.<br />


Earlier on in the year, hiring activity had<br />

obviously slowed down on a large scale as<br />

employers dealt with the immediate impacts<br />

of the pandemic. However, now roughly six<br />

months on from lockdown, hiring intentions<br />

are on the rise with a fifth (20 percent) of<br />

employers in credit saying they are currently<br />

recruiting, compared to 11 percent surveyed<br />

in May.<br />

Considering this pick-up, competition for<br />

some of the more in-demand skills will be<br />

even more acute than they were before, so<br />

if you are looking for a job currently I would<br />

advise carefully tailoring your CV to highlight<br />

the skills that are needed currently in the<br />

industry. Even if you aren’t looking for a new<br />

role, thinking long-term about the direction<br />

you might need to upskill in will help you keep<br />

up with the direction of the profession.<br />



As lockdown restrictions ease, workplaces<br />

are gradually reopening albeit with reduced<br />

capacity and social distancing measures in<br />

place. Only time will tell what the typical work<br />

setup will be in a few months’ time, but we<br />

do know that there is a strong preference for<br />

hybrid working – whereby employees work<br />

part in the office and part remotely. Over half<br />

(52 percent) of employers expect this to be the<br />

case in the next six months, and 46 percent of<br />

employees also say this is their preferred way<br />

of working.<br />

While it’s highly unlikely that the world<br />

of work will return to the way it was before<br />

the pandemic, there are signs that the credit<br />

profession is returning to some semblance of<br />

normal and taking steps to gear up for the next<br />

few months.<br />

As well as gearing up for the next few<br />

months, I also think this is an opportunity to<br />

reflect on our triumphs and indeed shortfalls<br />

over the summer and apply the lessons we’ve<br />

learned in order to be in the best position to<br />

move forward in the next few months.<br />

Karen Young is the Director of Hays<br />

Accountancy & Finance<br />

2m<br />

As lockdown restrictions ease, workplaces are gradually<br />

reopening albeit with reduced capacity and social distancing<br />

measures in place. Only time will tell what the typical work<br />

setup will be in a few months’ time.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 29


TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

In line for online boozing<br />

ONLY those living under a rock could have<br />

failed to notice that the world of online<br />

is beating physical retail into a pulp, with<br />

Amazon leading the charge.<br />

India is a case in point. It recently<br />

saw Amazon start online alcohol deliveries<br />

in the country (specifically to West Bengal’s<br />

population of 90m). But now Walmart’s<br />

e-commerce platform Flipkart has joined<br />

the party, linking up with HipBar, an online<br />

presence backed by spirits giant Diageo, to<br />

deliver alcohol in two Indian states.<br />

These behemoths clearly want to tap into<br />

an alcohol market that is worth $27.2bn.<br />

According to Reuters, ‘Flipkart customers<br />

will be able to place orders for their<br />

favourite tipple, which HipBar will then<br />

deliver after collecting products from retail<br />

outlets, according to a person with direct<br />

knowledge of the matter.’ Online alcohol<br />

won’t ever be a national proposition for<br />

India since some states, such as Gujarat,<br />

ban alcohol retail. Even so, if you’re involved<br />

in alcohol or online delivery systems, now<br />

is the time to expand your horizons to<br />

the sub-continent as Indian consumers<br />

are increasingly buying everything from<br />

groceries to electronics online.<br />

Hair today but hopefully<br />

not gone tomorrow<br />

MEN are shaving less and so producers of male<br />

grooming products have had to look elsewhere<br />

for profit; it appears that haircare is the sector to,<br />

excuse the pun, grow.<br />

According to management consultancy<br />

McKinsey, haircare is huge with the entire global<br />

beauty sector generating an estimated $500bn<br />

a year in sales. Grand View Research thinks<br />

that the haircare sector is growing around three<br />

percent a year and it’s helped by influencers<br />

and celebrities. But this isn’t just a western<br />

phenomenon – the rapid growth of the middle<br />

class in emerging markets, particularly in Asia,<br />

has led to a boom in personal grooming and<br />

beauty items.<br />

A study by market research group Mintel in<br />

November 2018 suggests that large personal-care<br />

companies are generally becoming more adept at<br />

understanding how the attitudes of consumers<br />

in emerging markets differ from those in the rest<br />

of the world and adjusting their products to take<br />

account of this. Any exporter that serves this<br />

sector, who is willing to understand the nuances<br />

of local markets and adapt products accordingly,<br />

could do rather well especially if they target<br />

premium products which can genuinely help<br />

combat hair loss.<br />


THIS could be good news or bad<br />

news depending on which side of the<br />

fence you sit. Turkey is to issue gas<br />

exploration and drilling licences in<br />

the eastern Mediterranean as it seeks<br />

greater energy independence.<br />

While this will be good news to<br />

those that supply the exploration<br />

sector, anyone trading with both<br />

Greece and Turkey – overtly – could<br />

be caught up in rising tensions.<br />

Both nations are NATO allies, but<br />

they disagree about overlapping<br />

claims on resources in the eastern<br />

Mediterranean. Tread carefully and<br />

be alert to political sensitivities when<br />

talking to clients in either of the two<br />

nations.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 30

River deep dam high<br />

LOOK at the Earth from above and you’d<br />

assume that with so much water it’s<br />

inconceivable that some go thirsty. But<br />

with just one percent of water potable<br />

and accessible it’s easy to see where that<br />

conflict can arise.<br />

Take Ethiopia, as highlighted by the<br />

Wall Street Journal. Its Prime Minister<br />

has said that negotiations with Egypt<br />

and Sudan were progressing well and<br />

there could soon be an agreement over<br />

the country’s hydroelectric dam on one<br />

of the Nile River’s tributaries following<br />

a decade-long dispute over river<br />

management. According to the publication,<br />

‘the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam<br />

was announced in 2011 and has raised<br />

tensions with Sudan and Egypt since,<br />

even prompting threats of war. Ethiopia<br />

maintains that the $4.8bn dam, located<br />

on the Blue Nile, will provide electricity<br />

to rural areas of the country, but Egypt<br />

sees the project as a “potential existential<br />

threat” that could siphon off water crucial<br />

to its 100 million people.’<br />

Very simply, growing populations<br />

and climate change will make water<br />

management an increasingly urgent<br />

priority in many areas. If you’ve the<br />

expertise, make hay while the sun shines.<br />

US tariffs as erratic<br />

as the President<br />

PRESIDENT Trump could have four more<br />

months in office or another four years and<br />

four months left if he wins a second term.<br />

Even so, while some view his actions as<br />

erratic, others such as the Scotch whisky<br />

industry are just bothered that the UK<br />

Government seems slow in fighting tariffs<br />

that he has imposed. Gin and beer have<br />

escaped his ire but Scotch now has a 25<br />

percent levy placed on its single malt. And<br />

clothing manufacturers have also been<br />

caught in the crossfire between Brussels<br />

and Washington.<br />

The point to note is that while Trump is<br />

unpredictable, if COVID-19 has illustrated<br />

anything, it’s that the world is becoming<br />

more protectionist as Governments guard<br />

domestic job and industries in light of<br />

rising unemployment. And again, Trump<br />

has illustrated this through an offer of tax<br />

credits to US firms that re-shore factories<br />

out of China back to the US.<br />

Meating new product demands<br />

ACCORDING to the UN Food and Agriculture<br />

Organisation, global meat production fell in<br />

2019 and may well fall further in <strong>2020</strong>. Why?<br />

People are dining out less and so are eating<br />

less meat. The question is, could this be the<br />

thin end of the wedge?<br />

With rising interest in vegetarianism<br />

and veganism, meat production and<br />

consumption may well have seen its peak.<br />

But there is more to the story since not all<br />

SO, the UK has left the EU. But could other<br />

EU member states follow if the UK doesn’t<br />

falter post-Brexit? Well, according to a poll<br />

commissioned by Euronews, Italy could<br />

be next to consider exiting the European<br />

Union if Brexit proves to be beneficial to<br />

Britain.<br />

Data from a Redfield and Wilton<br />

Strategies survey for Euronews found that<br />

nearly half of Italians questioned would<br />

be likely to support their country leaving<br />

the EU if the UK and its economy were<br />

regarded to be in good health five years<br />

from now.<br />

As for France and Spain, both were a<br />

middling risk for an EU departure while<br />

Germany was the least likely of the big<br />

four member states to consider leaving the<br />

Union.The poll sought the opinion of 1,500<br />

people in each of the big four countries<br />

(6,000 people in total) in mid-July, and<br />


meat is considered the same by consumers.<br />

Demand for beef is down but chicken is up<br />

with greater market share.<br />

Food producers and farmers may want<br />

to consider what they invest in so that<br />

they produce and export more of what the<br />

world is craving – poultry and veggie foods.<br />

Fundamentally, if red meat is key to your<br />

existence, plan for change; in time you could<br />

find your market shrink and over supply.<br />

comes hot on the heels of the formation of<br />

a new anti-EU party in Italy.<br />

In percentage terms, 45 percent of<br />

Italians would seek to leave, 38 percent of<br />

French, 37 percent of Spanish and just 30<br />

percent of Germans. It’s notable that the<br />

survey found that a good number of those<br />

polled in France (45 percent) and Italy (43<br />

percent) all agreed that that the UK would<br />

prosper outside of the bloc. In contrast,<br />

just 35 percent of Spaniards believed<br />

Brexit would ultimately be a success for<br />

the UK, while only 31 percent of Germans<br />

agreed to some extent.<br />

What does this mean for exporters?<br />

Keep a watching brief on your European<br />

markets and customer base. While<br />

statistics can be used to prove almost<br />

anything, never say never, for just over<br />

four years ago we were firmly inside<br />

Europe.<br />

Japan trade deal<br />

REUTERS has reported that, finally, Britain<br />

and Japan have agreed core elements of a<br />

post-Brexit bilateral trade deal which the<br />

two hope to seal in principle soon.<br />

This story is short however, precisely<br />

because the detail is light…apart from<br />

a Government comment that ‘we have<br />

reached consensus on the major elements<br />

of a deal, including ambitious provisions<br />

in areas like digital, data and financial<br />

services that go significantly beyond the<br />

EU-Japan deal.’<br />

If we take Wikipedia’s entry on the<br />

subject, that’s now 54 countries down and<br />

141 still to negotiate with. Worryingly, of<br />

those deals signed, signatories include<br />

the Faroe Islands, Lebanon, the Palestine<br />

Authority and Kosovo. Big hitters are<br />

missing.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 31

Introducing your Executive<br />

Board of Trustees<br />

The new team has combined experience spanning<br />

almost two centuries.<br />

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

ELECTIONS to the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Executive Board have been<br />

completed and new Officer<br />

appointments confirmed:<br />

Debbie Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

has been appointed<br />

Chair; Phil Rice FCI<strong>CM</strong> appointed<br />

Vice Chair; and Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

remains as Treasurer. In addition,<br />

other elected Executive Board Trustees<br />

are Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Victoria<br />

Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) and Phil Holbrough<br />

MCI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

Debbie is the UK CEO of global<br />

financial solutions company, Arvato.<br />

She has been a graduate member of the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> for over 25 years and has worked in<br />

the credit industry for more than 30 years<br />

in a number of different roles for high<br />

profile organisations, predominantly<br />

focused on consumer credit, recoveries<br />

and collections. Debbie has represented<br />

Consumer Credit on the CI<strong>CM</strong> Advisory<br />

Council since 2016 and has served as<br />

Vice Chair on the Executive Board for the<br />

last two years.<br />

In being appointed Chair Debbie says<br />

she is honoured: “I’d like to think that<br />

I’ve been able to utilise the experience<br />

that I have gained in my ‘day job’ to help<br />

support and shape the CI<strong>CM</strong> over the<br />

last two years and will continue to do so<br />

in the future. We need a collaborative,<br />

forward thinking Executive Board more<br />

than ever to tackle the challenges of a<br />

post-pandemic period that is likely to<br />

have a lasting impact on our industry.”<br />

As Vice Chair, Phil Rice, Head of<br />

Credit at Aggregate Industries UK, has<br />

more than 40 years of experience and is<br />

a passionate supporter of diversity and<br />

inclusion and encouraging women in<br />

credit to achieve senior opportunities.<br />

“We face many challenges which<br />

require strong and informed leadership,”<br />

he says.” I have experience, passion and<br />

a good understanding of the commercial<br />

B2B trade credit environment and<br />

will bring energy, enthusiasm and<br />

experience to support the CI<strong>CM</strong>, the<br />

Chief Executive, the Advisory Council<br />

and the Executive Board.<br />

Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong>, C<strong>CM</strong>(Germany),<br />

a credit professional since Nelson lost his<br />

eye (his words. Ed), has served the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

(and I<strong>CM</strong> in its former incarnation) as<br />

Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer,<br />

Advisory Council and Executive Board<br />

Trustee for several years as well as<br />

representing CI<strong>CM</strong> on the Council of<br />

FE<strong>CM</strong>A.<br />

“The next two years will be critical for<br />

the Institute and its members, as the UK<br />

(and the rest of the world) struggles to<br />

recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,”<br />

Glen says. “The CI<strong>CM</strong> is at the forefront<br />

of business recovery and by serving<br />

on the Executive Board, I hope to help<br />

cement the financial soundness of<br />

the Institute, enabling enhanced and<br />

relevant services for all members. I am<br />

committed to ambitious progress and see<br />

the role of the Executive Board as a pool<br />

of expertise and experience able to guide<br />

and support the Chief Executive and the<br />

whole HQ team in their endeavours. It<br />

remains an honour and privilege to be a<br />

member of the Board, and I bring to it a<br />

good many years’ experience from both<br />

within and without.”<br />

Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) combines<br />

her roles on the CI<strong>CM</strong> Advisory Council<br />

and Executive Board with being Director<br />

at debt collection agency, Hilton-Baird<br />

Collection Services, where she works<br />

with businesses of all sizes to improve<br />

their credit management performance<br />

and efficiency.<br />

“I’m very much looking forward to<br />

continuing my role on the Executive<br />

Board and am delighted to be appointed<br />

for a second term. It is a huge honour to<br />

represent the CI<strong>CM</strong> in this way and to<br />

play such an important role.<br />

“Credit management professionals are<br />

clearly facing extraordinary challenges<br />

at this difficult time, and the CI<strong>CM</strong> will<br />

be vital in providing valuable support,<br />

guidance and mentoring to help our<br />

members in their roles. I’ll continue<br />

to champion the CI<strong>CM</strong> at every turn,<br />

raise awareness of its excellent work<br />

throughout the business community,<br />

promote best practice and help members<br />

to improve performance and enhance<br />

their careers.”<br />

Phil Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong> is a<br />

Commercial Credit Manager with more<br />

than 25-yeas experience, notably within<br />

the construction and manufacturing<br />

sectors. He has been a member of the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> for 15 years and is a Committee<br />

member and current Chair/Co-Treasurer<br />

of Yorkshire Ridings Branch of CI<strong>CM</strong>. An<br />

Advisory Council member for two years,<br />

he has now been elected to the Executive<br />

Board <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

“I am excited to be elected to the<br />

Executive Board of the CI<strong>CM</strong> as this<br />

offers a seasoned credit manager like<br />

me the opportunity to see the inner<br />

workings of the Institute and its ideology,<br />

and accurately reflect this to the wider<br />

membership via branch activities,” he<br />

says. “As this is a two-way street it also<br />

allows me to present the thoughts and<br />

concepts of grass roots members to the<br />

Executive Board as a possible ingredient<br />

in the future operations of the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

- ensuring continued relevance to the<br />

membership.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 32

’<br />


Debbie Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) –<br />

Chair<br />

“I’d like to think that I’ve<br />

been able to utilise<br />

the experience that I<br />

have gained in my ‘day<br />

job’ to help support and<br />

shape the CI<strong>CM</strong> over the<br />

last two years and will<br />

continue to do so in<br />

the future.”<br />

Phil Rice –<br />

Vice Chair<br />

“I have experience,<br />

passion and a good<br />

understanding of the<br />

commercial B2B trade<br />

credit environment<br />

and will bring energy,<br />

enthusiasm and experience<br />

to support the CI<strong>CM</strong>, the<br />

Chief Executive.’’<br />

Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong> –<br />

Treasurer<br />

“The CI<strong>CM</strong> is at the<br />

forefront of business<br />

recovery and by serving<br />

on the Executive Board,<br />

I hope to help cement<br />

the financial soundness<br />

of the Institute, enabling<br />

enhanced and relevant<br />

services for all members.’’<br />

Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) –<br />

Executive Board Trustee<br />

Phil Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong> –<br />

Executive Board Trustee<br />

Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> –<br />

Executive Board Trustee<br />

“I’m very much looking<br />

forward to continuing<br />

my role on the Executive<br />

Board and am delighted to<br />

be appointed for a second<br />

term. It is a huge honour to<br />

represent the CI<strong>CM</strong> in this<br />

way and to play such an<br />

important role.’’<br />

“I am excited to be elected<br />

to the Executive Board of<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong> as this offers a<br />

seasoned credit manager<br />

like me the opportunity to<br />

see the inner workings of<br />

the Institute and accurately<br />

reflect this to the wider<br />

membership.”<br />

“I am delighted to be<br />

re-elected as a member<br />

of the Executive Board.<br />

Serving is an honour and<br />

a privilege but brings<br />

with it responsibilities as<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong> enters the next<br />

phase both during and<br />

post-COVID-19.’’<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 33

Let us show you why<br />

our years of High Court<br />

expertise and a fast, fair,<br />

client-focused approach<br />

continues to yield the<br />

sector’s leading results,<br />

without risking any loss<br />

of reputation.<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

Pre-visit Intelligence<br />

Bespoke Process<br />

Vulnerability & Brand Protection<br />

Award-Winning Technology<br />

Added Value Services & Training<br />

courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 34

By delivering an approach that differs from traditional providers<br />

or panels, we have worked tirelessly on the frontline to earn our<br />

reputation as the UK’s leading High Court Enforcement company.<br />

Our founding strategy continues to offer the market a combination that is hard to match – speed<br />

of ‘expert’ frontline delivery, depth of client sector enforcement and legal knowledge, a unique<br />

approach to fairness and managing vulnerability, and an absolute dedication to serving our clients.<br />


100,000+<br />

High Court Writs<br />

£187 million<br />

Debt Fairly Collected<br />

39%<br />

Engagement during the<br />

Compliance Period<br />

We are the fastest growing High Court Enforcement company. To-date we<br />

have handled over 100,000 High Court Writs.<br />

Since forming in 2014, we have fairly recovered more than £187 million<br />

for our clients.<br />

We promote early resolution and are proud to achieve an above industry average<br />

engagement rate of 39% during the compliance period. We feel it is important<br />

to open communication with the customer at this early stage to resolve the<br />

matter as quickly as possible. This ensures that the creditor gets what they are<br />

owed quickly and reduces additional costs and interest being added.<br />

350+ years<br />

Specialist experience in<br />

High Court Enforcement<br />

150+<br />

Enforcement Agents<br />

We pride ourselves on our personable and expert-led approach. The foundations<br />

of the business were built on the vast knowledge and experience of the directors<br />

and senior management team, who have operated for a combined 350+ years in<br />

the High Court Enforcement sector. Our team has an in-depth understanding of<br />

each client sector’s regulatory requirements and governance, which clients tell<br />

us is what helps to make our dedicated services and support invaluable.<br />

Operating nationwide with highly trained and certificated agents.<br />

We are aiming to lead the way with our<br />

approach to fairness and vulnerability.<br />

That’s why we’ve published a comprehensive Fairness<br />

Framework, embodied by our Fairness Charter, and<br />

a detailed Vulnerability Strategy which includes 11<br />

Vulnerability Principles designed to ensure your customers<br />

are always treated fairly and appropriately.<br />

Our clients know how important it is that any potentially<br />

vulnerable person or situation is identified as soon as<br />

possible. Court Enforcement Services has a dedicated<br />

Welfare Team that is highly trained both internally, and<br />

externally with organisations such as The Samaritans, to<br />

spot vulnerability early.<br />

Our Welfare Team also works closely with debt advisory<br />

organisations, including StepChange, Citizens Advice<br />

Bureau, National Debt Line, Money Advice Service and<br />

Advice UK. In addition, each member of our team receives<br />

full Vulnerability Awareness training which includes<br />

consistent indicators and guidance to refer any potentially<br />

vulnerable customers to our Welfare Team.<br />

Please contact us today to find out more about our<br />

extensive range of fairness measures:<br />

01993 220557<br />

BD@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 35

Appointment |<br />

Credit Academy Trainer<br />

You<br />

Are a passionate expert in credit management.<br />

Are an inspiring trainer, coach and mentor.<br />

Would love the opportunity to shape and influence<br />

the credit talent in industries across the world.<br />

We<br />

Are the world’s largest recognised<br />

professional body for the credit industry.<br />

Are building our training team, thanks to the<br />

recent success of CI<strong>CM</strong> Training.<br />

Have ambitious plans for the future.<br />

Working for the CI<strong>CM</strong> Credit Academy, the learning delivery arm of<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>, the new Credit Academy Trainer will enhance the capability<br />

and competencies of CI<strong>CM</strong> members, individuals and credit teams by<br />

designing and delivering training programmes and products.<br />

And there has never been a more exciting time to join our team.<br />

Go to cicm.com/vacancies for a full role description and how to apply.<br />

You have until the end of September.

NEW<br />



Ship to Shore<br />

In our new series, we ask a panel of credit management<br />

experts to answer some of our readers’ biggest questions.<br />

Does<br />

off-shoring<br />

Accounts<br />

Receivable<br />

work in a<br />

pandemic?<br />

Panellist Nigel Fields<br />

FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

COVID-19 has probably impacted every business across<br />

the globe. One area of major concern and possible<br />

disruption is the uncertainty of using a Business Process<br />

Outsourcing (BPO) model especially if it’s off-shore.<br />

The varying infection rates across every country will<br />

make it virtually impossible to get any kind of plan and<br />

consistency if ‘off-shoring.’ Different country rules and regulations<br />

vary widely and are not easily understood either by the organisation<br />

or their customers. This makes managing the ‘off-shore’ BPO extremely<br />

difficult and with so much uncertainty creates a sizeable risk for the<br />

business. This has exposed a huge (probably previously unknown) risk<br />

and weaknesses that was not considered in the past.<br />

We all know that one of the key benefits of BPO outsourcing is<br />

the potential to tap into a skilled workforce and often in countries<br />

with lower staff costs. This however diminishes the levels of control<br />

an organisation might exert over this remote BPO workforce. It also<br />

completely nullifies any ability to change local statutory employment<br />

rules or other laws. The cost benefit is always a major attraction,<br />

but it needs to also be weighed up against the much-increased focus<br />

with working alongside a BPO partner. One must both ensure good<br />

productivity and reliable services. It’s essential to have a good, strong<br />

governance model.<br />

Even with the best governance in place, and amid this pandemic,<br />

the BPO sectors will have really struggled to ensure their workforce is<br />

able to transition to a working-from-home model. This will have been<br />

a humongous (if not, impossible) task, especially in countries where<br />

conditions are really not conducive to a WFH model; poor internet and<br />

telephone connectivity and ensuring the correct controls and security<br />

are in place for clients or even just expecting their employees to have<br />

room and facilities at own homes to provide a service is a huge ask. I<br />

suspect that many BPO employees may have been forced to adapt to<br />

highly irregular working arrangements.<br />

I am absolutely certain that we will start to see both BPO and<br />

their clients aggressively look to ‘de-risk’. COVID-19 will have had a<br />

significant impact on outsourced arrangements. Going forward, I think<br />

that BPO provider’s will transition towards providing more automated<br />

and technical services using Robot Process Automations (RPA) and<br />

Artificial Intelligence (AI). Client organisations will need to pay close<br />

attention to their critical functions and possibly look to bring these<br />

back in-house or maybe find ‘on-shore’ partners where they will have a<br />

much better understanding of local rules and regulations.<br />

Thinking outside the box has never been more important. De-risking<br />

will be essential for businesses to ensure their operations continue<br />

smoothly and without interruptions and disruptions.<br />

NIGEL FIELDS FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

A career in credit management spanning more than 30 years, Nigel is now a<br />

senior consultant with a new start-up company TheBossCat.com which provides<br />

knowledge, skills and various services to a wide range of businesses. Nigel spent<br />

20 years working for Twentieth Century Fox International Film Corp. starting out<br />

in its UK business as Credit Manager and rising to Executive Director for Credit,<br />

responsible for (O2C) Order to Cash across Fox’s entire international business<br />

portfolio. Prior to Fox, he worked as the Credit Manager at Hornby Hobbies and<br />

a Credit Controller for GEC. Nigel says: “I attribute much of my career success to<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong> community where I am always able to draw upon knowledge and skills<br />

from the extensive array of members and partners.”<br />

If you’d like to join our panel of<br />

experts, or if you have a question<br />

to ask, contact the editor at<br />

sfeast@gravityglobal.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 37


Calm before the storm<br />

Payment Trends – An Analysis of the UK during<br />

the past six months.<br />

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

THE COVID-19 pandemic has certainly<br />

been chaotic for businesses and the<br />

disruption has caused problems in<br />

all areas of business. Setting up home<br />

offices and adapting to a new way of<br />

working has provided many challenges<br />

including those faced by credit and collection teams.<br />

With businesses losing footfall and their usual<br />

income streams, businesses trying to hold onto cash<br />

reserves and simply not being able to get in contact<br />

with finance, credit and collections teams etc, have<br />

struggled with the ‘new’ normal.<br />

When looking at the UK by location it is evident that<br />

nowhere has fared well during the pandemic with all<br />

regions suffering increases in late payments. Northern<br />

Ireland looks to have been hit the hardest hit with late<br />

payments increasing by 36 percent since March with a<br />

DBT going from 13.2 to 20.6, likewise with Yorkshire &<br />

Humberside showing an increase of 28 percent. East<br />

Anglia and the London regions look to have stemmed<br />

the flow of late payments with only slight increases of<br />

six percent and seven percent respectively.<br />

Having reviewed the collections activity within<br />

the UK as a whole, there was a trend during June<br />

whereby many of the leading industries saw spikes<br />

within late payments and whilst this looks to be<br />

stabilising, there has still been a 24 percent increase in<br />

days beyond terms (DBT) within the aforementioned<br />

industries since March. There have been some<br />

improvements however, with notable drops in DBT for<br />

the International Bodies and Financial and Insurance<br />

industries. The highest rises occurred within the<br />

Education and Business from Home industries rising<br />

from 6.7 to 29.5 (77 percent) and 11.3 to 32.2 (65<br />

percent) respectively.<br />

In the latest news with more COVID-19 cases rising<br />

again over the last week or so, there is a question to<br />

be asked if the DBT in both regions and sectors can<br />

reduce to what they were at the end of March <strong>2020</strong><br />

at the start of the pandemic when the average DBT<br />

across the regions was 11.8 and peaked during the<br />

month of June at 17.2. A similar spike occurred in June<br />

<strong>2020</strong> when the average DBT across all sectors hit 17.9<br />

from 12.4 in March. Most likely these spikes would<br />

have been customers asking their suppliers for either<br />

extended payment terms or to enter into payment<br />

plans to sustain their cash flows.<br />

As mentioned, August has seen every region with<br />

exception of Yorkshire and Humberside get better but<br />

is this the calm before the storm and are we facing very<br />

choppy waters in Q3 and Q4? With the Government<br />

furlough scheme ending in <strong>October</strong> will businesses<br />

have enough funds to continue to meet their debts on<br />

time?<br />

Jason Braidwood is Head of Credit and Collections at<br />

Creditsafe Group.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 38


Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region Aug 20 Change from Jul 20<br />

South West 13.2 -1<br />

East Anglia 13.7 -1.8<br />

Scotland 14 -3.4<br />

Wales 14 -1<br />

West Midlands 14.1 -4.4<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region Feb 20 Change from Jan 20<br />

Northern Ireland 20.6 -0.5<br />

South East 17.2 0<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside 16.2 0.4<br />

East Midlands 15.1 -4.1<br />

North West 14.7 -2.4<br />

Getting Worse<br />

Education 15.9<br />

Business from Home 10.6<br />

Health & Social 9.6<br />

Mining and Quarrying 3.8<br />

Public Administration 2.8<br />

Financial and Insurance 2.3<br />

Dormant 0.8<br />

Getting Better<br />

Hospitality -9.6<br />

Transportation and Storage -6.6<br />

Real Estate -6.4<br />

Entertainment -6.1<br />

Energy Supply -5.6<br />

International Bodies -5.6<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -5.5<br />

Professional and Scientific -5.4<br />

Other Service -3.5<br />

Construction -3<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20<br />

Financial and Insurance 7 2.3<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 8.6 -5.5<br />

Wholesale and retail trade 11.3 -1.4<br />

Public Administration 11.5 2.8<br />

Hospitality 11.6 -9.6<br />

IT and Comms -2.7<br />

Manufacturing -2.5<br />

Business Admin & Support -2.4<br />

Wholesale and retail trade -1.4<br />

Water & Waste 0.1<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20<br />

Business from Home 32.2 10.6<br />

Education 29.5 15.9<br />

Mining and Quarrying 28.1 3.8<br />

Health and Social 20.8 9.6<br />

Dormant 18.5 0.8<br />


-3.4 DBT<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-4.4<br />

-4.1<br />

-3.4<br />

-2.4<br />

-1.8<br />

-1<br />

-1<br />

-0.9<br />

-0.5<br />

0<br />

0.4<br />

West Midlands<br />

East Midlands<br />

Scotland<br />

North West<br />

East Anglia<br />

South West<br />

Wales<br />

London<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

South East<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />



-0.5 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

-1 DBT<br />

WALES<br />

-1 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

-2.4 DBT<br />

WEST<br />


-4.4 DBT<br />



0.4 DBT<br />

EAST<br />


-4.1 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

-0.9 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

0 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

-1.8 DBT<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 39



For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a<br />

Corporate Partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>, please contact corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

Onguard is a specialist in credit management<br />

software and a market leader in innovative solutions<br />

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures<br />

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order<br />

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our<br />

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process,<br />

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

The Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management in more than 50<br />

countries.<br />

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Satago helps business owners and their<br />

accountants avoid credit risks, manage debtors<br />

and access finance when they need it – all in<br />

one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud<br />

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping<br />

businesses:<br />

Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS<br />

Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL<br />

Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE<br />

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.<br />

T: 020 8050 3015<br />

E: hello@satago.com<br />

W: www.satago.com<br />

HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service<br />

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform<br />

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through<br />

automation of receivables and payments across credit,<br />

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,<br />

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM<br />

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital<br />

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables<br />

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine<br />

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine<br />

labour intensive tasks.<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps<br />

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks<br />

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international<br />

payments, effective cash management tools, automated<br />

workflows for payment processing and bill review<br />

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural<br />

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we<br />

help our customers by making complex business<br />

payments simple, secure and seamless.<br />

T: 0870 081 8250<br />

E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern<br />

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve<br />

business performance through more effective risk<br />

management, identification of growth opportunities,<br />

and better integration of data and insights<br />

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,<br />

our solutions provide access to the world’s most<br />

comprehensive commercial data and insights<br />

supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that help finance and credit teams<br />

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.<br />

T: (0800) 001-234<br />

W: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across Europe with credit management. The<br />

service gives the end-user the means to make a<br />

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also<br />

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform<br />

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.<br />

In a credit management environment, these services<br />

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and<br />

connect them back into a contact centre or<br />

automated payment line.<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make<br />

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise<br />

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon<br />

uses 130+ international databases and the information<br />

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in<br />

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s<br />

largest credit insurance companies.<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

Building on our mature and hugely successful<br />

product and world class support service, we are<br />

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to<br />

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and<br />

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full<br />

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.<br />

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis and automation. Impressive results<br />

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

and evolution.<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 40

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for<br />

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the<br />

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />


Hays Credit Management is a national specialist<br />

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of<br />

credit management and receivables professionals,<br />

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we<br />

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’<br />

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on<br />

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,<br />

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign<br />

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,<br />

career and recruitment trends.<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

The Atradius Collections business model is to support<br />

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a<br />

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing<br />

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is<br />

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant<br />

impact on the UK economy with an increase in<br />

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and<br />

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding<br />

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can<br />

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our<br />

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 824700<br />

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work<br />

closely with credit teams to recover commercial<br />

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.<br />

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and<br />

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to<br />

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the<br />

most effective way of achieving them.<br />

T: 03700 86 3000<br />

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Forums International has been running Credit and<br />

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of<br />

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance<br />

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums<br />

are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges<br />

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to<br />

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we<br />

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late<br />

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.<br />

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation<br />

highlights where accounts receivable teams should<br />

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,<br />

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection<br />

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.<br />

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service<br />

customer portals, improve customer communication<br />

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,<br />

super-charges your cash collection effort.<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for<br />

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility<br />

and secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience<br />

and thousands of successful customer projects,<br />

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers and<br />

receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against<br />

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

T: +44 118 207 0450<br />

E: contact@serrala.com<br />

W: www.serrala.com<br />

American Express® is a globally recognised<br />

provider of business payment solutions, providing<br />

flexible capabilities to help companies drive<br />

growth. These solutions support buyers and<br />

suppliers across the supply chain with working<br />

capital and cashflow.<br />

By creating an additional lever to help support<br />

supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables<br />

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and<br />

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for<br />

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating<br />

payments from buyers when required in just two<br />

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often<br />

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from<br />

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains<br />

through ethical business practices.<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes<br />

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s<br />

businesses from collecting receivables in a<br />

timely manner. From credit management to cash<br />

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash<br />

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps<br />

companies modernise without replacing their<br />

core billing and collections processes. By simply<br />

automating what should be automated, customers<br />

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your<br />

team gets the tools they need.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176<br />

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 41




For further information and to discuss the<br />

opportunities of entering into a Corporate<br />

Partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>, please contact<br />

corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis<br />

and data modelling tools to organisations around<br />

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict<br />

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®<br />

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies<br />

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93<br />

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals<br />

within banks, corporates, investment houses<br />

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit<br />

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible<br />

in our approach.<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

‘‘<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> offered the<br />

prospect of qualifications,<br />

but as soon as I became<br />

a member, loads of other<br />

opportunities came to<br />

light that I hadn’t initially<br />

realised were available.<br />

Molly Kane<br />

ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting<br />

Associates) has three areas of activity providing<br />

credit management leadership and performance<br />

improvement, international working capital<br />

improvement consulting assignments and<br />

managing the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Best Practice Accreditation<br />

programme on behalf of the CI<strong>CM</strong>. Plans for<br />

2019 include international client assignments in<br />

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing<br />

development of the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Programme.<br />

T: +44(0)7747 761641<br />

E: chris@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is<br />

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services<br />

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our<br />

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and<br />

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,<br />

outsourcing, wealth management and business<br />

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist<br />

offering developed specifically for creditors. For<br />

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies<br />

Creditor Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services.<br />

The value<br />

of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership<br />

Molly Kane ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

AR Credit and Collections Manager<br />

Stuart Delivery Ltd<br />

Read more about her story and join your<br />

credit community by visiting:<br />

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

info@cicm.com<br />

www.cicm.com<br />

01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 42

presents<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

www.ddisoftware.co.uk<br />

sales@ddisoftware.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 43

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 44


Mind over Matter<br />

Additional powers are needed to keep pace with<br />

marketing tactics used by intermediaries.<br />

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp<br />

Michelle Thorp<br />

AS stated by the mental<br />

health charity Mind, one<br />

in four adults in England<br />

experiences a diagnosable<br />

mental health condition<br />

in any one year. According<br />

to the Money and Mental Health Policy<br />

Institute, half of those in problem debt in<br />

England (debt that they are unable to pay<br />

back) also have a mental health problem.<br />

In a survey conducted by the institute, of<br />

nearly 5,500 people with experience of<br />

mental health problems, 86 percent said<br />

that their financial situation had made<br />

their mental health problems worse.<br />

Mental health is already a key issue in<br />

today’s society that many are working to<br />

address in different settings, and it has<br />

taken on particular weight during the<br />

response to COVID-19. Across financial<br />

services, firms and other organisations<br />

have brought, and are bringing, mental<br />

health and vulnerability into focus<br />

amongst stakeholders.<br />

In the insolvency profession and<br />

related groups such as the creditor<br />

community, working with vulnerable<br />

people is part of the job. As many of us will<br />

know, identifying vulnerability amongst<br />

clients and other stakeholders often isn’t<br />

easy. To address this responsibility, we at<br />

the IPA support the adoption of a clear<br />

vulnerability procedure, with a process<br />

for identifying vulnerable clients. This<br />

process may include the establishment<br />

of mental health specialists whose<br />

training and experience can be drawn<br />

on, as well as expanded staff training on<br />

vulnerability. Organisations may also look<br />

to tailor contact methods and make any<br />

other reasonable adjustments.<br />


There are multiple solutions available to<br />

people who find themselves in debt, each<br />

with their own terms, designed to apply<br />

to a range of situations. In some cases,<br />

there can be serious consequences from<br />

defaulting on such agreements, which<br />

the individual must consider before<br />

committing to a particular solution.<br />

Those in debt and deemed as vulnerable<br />

can, through no fault of their own, be<br />

exposed to the risk of signing up to an<br />

unmanageable plan to repay their debt,<br />

through a poor level of advice having been<br />

given. This is of particular concern to us<br />

at the IPA. We also pay attention to how<br />

debt solutions are marketed.<br />

As well as our current<br />

work to support the<br />

oversight of the debt<br />

advice sector and protect<br />

vulnerable individuals,<br />

the IPA is lobbying for<br />

additional powers to<br />

act in this space, as the<br />

market has developed<br />

beyond what the<br />

regulation can achieve.<br />

Insolvency firms and debt charities give<br />

initial advice to prospective clients, and<br />

there exists a number of ‘introducer’ firms<br />

who act as intermediaries between the<br />

prospective client and insolvency firms.<br />

The introducer firms offer advice before<br />

making a recommendation as to the debt<br />

solution that would suit the client’s needs<br />

and referring them on to an insolvency<br />

firm. Working with introducer firms<br />

can form part of insolvency practitioner<br />

marketing.<br />

The IPA became concerned about<br />

the level of advice offered by introducer<br />

firms, and we subsequently made it a<br />

requirement of members of our Volume<br />

Provider Regulation (VPR) scheme to only<br />

use introducer firms that are regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority<br />

(FCA). The VPR scheme, which I have<br />

referred to in previous articles, regulates<br />

most of the largest providers of personal<br />

debt solutions in the UK and covers the<br />

majority of UK insolvencies. It requires<br />

of its members far greater transparency,<br />

monitoring and data sharing than any<br />

other firms in the insolvency sector. We<br />

are looking to open up the scheme to<br />

other insolvency firms.<br />

The UK Government is expected<br />

to legislate to make it compulsory for<br />

introducer firms to be FCA authorised,<br />

in a move that, where required, should<br />

raise the level of debt advice provided<br />

by these firms. The Scottish Government<br />

recently published a report into the<br />

use of Protected Trust Deeds (PTDs), a<br />

Scottish debt solution that is covered by<br />

our VPR scheme. We were pleased to note<br />

the recognition given to the IPA in the<br />

report in being the first to introduce this<br />

measure.<br />

In a move that we support, Google has<br />

acted to put a stop to introducer firms<br />

appearing at the top of search results for<br />

debt advice. While it is fine for introducer<br />

firms to provide advice, we would<br />

recommend debt charities as a first port<br />

of call.<br />

We have recently seen activity to<br />

dodge Google’s new restrictions, involving<br />

more layering of advice from websites<br />

that directly mimic or blatantly copy the<br />

free sector and charitable organisations.<br />

The client is then packaged through an<br />

FCA regulated company and on to an<br />

Insolvency Practitioner. This is deeply<br />

concerning activity, especially with<br />

vulnerable people in mind. These websites<br />

are not under the IPA’s jurisdiction as an<br />

insolvency regulator, but we are keen to<br />

see this practice curtailed.<br />

As well as our current work to support<br />

the oversight of the debt advice sector and<br />

protect vulnerable individuals, the IPA is<br />

lobbying for additional powers to act in<br />

this space, as the market has developed<br />

beyond what the regulation can achieve.<br />

While the vast majority of Insolvency<br />

Practitioners are duly diligent in the<br />

marketing they employ, we continue to<br />

closely monitor this area. In doing this,<br />

we work with the FCA and the Advertising<br />

Standards Authority (ASA) where<br />

appropriate, and with consideration of<br />

vulnerable individuals as a key concern.<br />

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency<br />

Practitioners Association.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 45


CI<strong>CM</strong> Virtual Training is an ‘access anywhere’ range of interactive, online training<br />

courses, designed to give you the skills and tools you need to thrive in your credit<br />

work. Each training course offers high quality approaches to credit-related topics, and<br />

practical skills that can be used in your workplace. A highly qualified trainer, with an<br />

array of credit management experience, will guide you through the subject to give you<br />

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.<br />

These are pre-recorded training<br />

sessions that you can access<br />

anywhere and at anytime. Short,<br />

sharp and to the point – these suit<br />

you if you are short on time, or need<br />

a quick introduction or update on a<br />

subject.<br />

These are live, interactive sessions,<br />

delivered virtually by a qualified trainer,<br />

experienced in the subject. Through<br />

a series of tasks and discussions, you<br />

will access a hands-on training session<br />

that offers the best practice approach to<br />

essential credit and debt skills.<br />

MEET YOUR TRAINER: Jules Eames FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad); PGCE, is a qualified teacher,<br />

trainer and credit manager with experience in credit and debt specialisms across the<br />

O2C spectrum and ancillary businesses, in consumer, B2B and export markets.<br />

INTRODUCTORY PRICE £90.00+VAT per person.<br />

For group training, please contact info@cicm.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 46

$<br />

Advancing<br />

Careers<br />

Advancing<br />

Best Practice<br />

Advancing<br />

Connections<br />

Advancing<br />

Skills<br />

Advancing<br />

Thinking<br />

Advancing<br />

Business<br />



01780 722900 | www.cicm.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 47



NAME<br />

Heather Bauer<br />

Jack Colvin<br />

Ajay Dulay-Kainth<br />

Wendy Hall<br />

Christopher Hardman<br />

Karolina Houchot<br />

Rebecca Houghton<br />

Aleesha Martin<br />

Danny Martin<br />

Bjorn Reichmann<br />


Congratulations to all of the following,<br />

who successfully achieved Diplomas.<br />

Vivienne Rushworth<br />

Therese Siene<br />

Katrina Thomas<br />

Christopher Turner<br />

Deborah Williamson<br />

Christopher Deering<br />

Dumitru Marocico<br />

Louise Martin<br />

Rachel Savage<br />

James Doyle<br />

Samantha Goulding<br />

Janice Abbott<br />

Alexis Child<br />

Andreea-Cristina Cireap<br />

Amy Crow<br />

Kelly Firth<br />

Christopher Moore<br />

Emily Palmer<br />

Kiri Tredgett<br />


NAME<br />

Karen Woolley<br />

Christa Smith<br />

Leigh Bell-Roberts<br />

Jason Bond<br />

Louise Brailsford<br />

James Hall<br />

Gemma Heyes<br />

Lesley Perryman<br />

Steven Radley<br />

Christa Smith<br />

Leigh Bell-Roberts<br />

Jason Bond<br />

Louise Brailsford<br />

James Hall<br />

Gemma Heyes<br />

Lesley Perryman<br />

Steven Radley<br />


NAME<br />

Andrew Coates<br />

Morgan Sheldon<br />


NAME<br />

Mark Bumpsteed<br />

Michelle Cawley<br />


(MCI<strong>CM</strong>(GRAD))<br />

NAME<br />

Teelah Ford Anna Harrison Samantha Hill<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 48

www.cicm.com<br />

‘‘<br />

Since being a<br />

member I am kept<br />

updated on latest changes<br />

to laws and regulations,<br />

good governance and<br />

not forgetting the<br />

wealth of knowledge.<br />

Laural Jefferies, FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

The value<br />

of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership<br />

Laural Jefferies, FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Head of Accounts Receivable,<br />

Fashion Edge Ltd<br />

Read more about her story and join your<br />

credit community by visiting:<br />

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/<br />

info@cicm.com<br />

www.cicm.com<br />

01780 722900


Do you know someone who would benefit from CI<strong>CM</strong> membership? Or have<br />

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website<br />

www.cicm.com/membership-types for more details, or call us on 01780 722903<br />

Fellow<br />

Abimbola Odunsi FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Member<br />

Jagdeep Bassi MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Danielle Duke MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Associate<br />

Kirsty Scott ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Member (By exam)<br />

Irfan Majeed MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

Affiliate<br />

Radu Iamandi MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Sean Keeley MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Paul Martin MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Brett Cooper Karen Fulls Kevin Mills Ryan Miles<br />

Studying Member<br />

Laura Bagnall<br />

Rachel Callaghan<br />

Beata Czuber<br />

Leanne Dagg<br />

Emma Davis<br />

Donna Draycott<br />

Rafal Gibas<br />

Kirralee Green<br />

Charlotte Griffiths<br />

Louise Kay<br />

Edward Price<br />

Rosemary Roots<br />

Kara Said<br />

Mohammed Shahid<br />

Rhian Showers<br />

Sean Sideris<br />

Sharon Simm<br />

Jayne Szandrowski<br />

Michael Wright<br />


Get in touch with the CI<strong>CM</strong> by emailing branches@cicm.com<br />

with your branch news and event reports. Please only send up to 400 words<br />

and any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 50

What impact will<br />

Crown Preference have<br />

on creditors? Page 12<br />

The future of collections<br />

could be a robot called<br />

AVA. Page 14<br />



<strong>CM</strong> Jan/Feb <strong>2020</strong>.indd 1 22/01/<strong>2020</strong> 10:17<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> British<br />

Credit Awards<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Are customers engaging<br />

with new digital<br />

communications? Page 12<br />

Sean Feast speaks to<br />

Jo Kettner of Company<br />

Watch. Page 17<br />



<strong>CM</strong> March <strong>2020</strong>.indd 1 21/02/<strong>2020</strong> 12:21<br />

Advancing the<br />

credit profession.<br />

Page 12<br />

Making<br />

information work.<br />

Page 36<br />



<strong>CM</strong> APRIL <strong>2020</strong>.indd 1 20/03/<strong>2020</strong> 10:34<br />

Are latest insolvency<br />

predictions scare<br />

mongering? Page 12<br />

Sean Feast speaks to<br />

Paladin's Steve Fox.<br />

Page 24<br />



<strong>CM</strong> MAY <strong>2020</strong>.indd 1 21/04/<strong>2020</strong> 11:08<br />

A credit squeeze is<br />

coming but how long<br />

will it last? Page 18<br />

Sean Feast talks<br />

to Richard Webster<br />

of AIG. Page 24<br />



<strong>CM</strong> JUNE <strong>2020</strong>.indd 1 21/05/<strong>2020</strong> 11:16<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> MEMBER<br />


Your CI<strong>CM</strong> lapel badge<br />

demonstrates your commitment to<br />

professionalism and best practice<br />



If you haven’t received your badge<br />

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com<br />

<strong>CM</strong><br />

Credit Management magazine for<br />

consumer and commercial credit professionals<br />


<strong>CM</strong><br />

JANUARY/FEBRUARY <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />

Nudge Nudge<br />

Taking the chance<br />

out of customer<br />

engagement<br />


<strong>CM</strong><br />

MARCH <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />

INSIDE<br />

Winners of the<br />

Treading softly<br />

Ways to reduce your<br />

carbon footprint<br />


<strong>CM</strong><br />

APRIL <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />


Are CRAs doing enough<br />

for the vulnerable?<br />


<strong>CM</strong><br />

MAY <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />

Swings and<br />

Roundabouts<br />

A rough ride for<br />

Debt Purchase<br />


<strong>CM</strong><br />

JUNE <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />

All washed up<br />

Has the Pre Pack Pool<br />

run aground?<br />




IN DEPTH<br />


ASK THE<br />


GLOBAL<br />

NEWS<br />

LEGAL<br />



TRADE<br />



HR<br />







TO SUBSCRIBE CONTACT: T: 01780 722903| E: ANGELA.COOPER@CI<strong>CM</strong>.COM<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 51



How to set up a great one click link to the CI<strong>CM</strong> website on<br />

your mobile phone. Follow these four simple steps...<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

Go to cicm.com > Click highlighted icon at bottom of screen > Click add to Home screen icon<br />

> Click add icon at top right of screen > CI<strong>CM</strong> icon will appear on your screen<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

Open cicm.com in Google Chrome browser > Tap Menu button > Tap add shortcut to Home screen<br />

> Icon will appear on your screen. Menu button on other Android devices may be displayed differently.<br />


T: +44 (0)1780 722900 | WWW.CI<strong>CM</strong>.COM<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 52



Computer screens, criminal acts and furloughed workers.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

HOW far does disability<br />

discrimination apply when an<br />

employee makes a claim? This<br />

was answered in Robinson v<br />

DWP which focused on alleged<br />

discrimination arising from a<br />

disability.<br />

The claimant suffered migraines and blurred<br />

vision which was recognised as a disability. She<br />

required screen magnification software that<br />

was incompatible with a computer system she<br />

used. Various unsuccessful attempts were made<br />

to improve the claimant’s working conditions.<br />

Progress was slow, and in the absence of a solution<br />

to the computer software issue, the claimant was<br />

transferred to paper-based work in a different<br />

department for over a year.<br />

The claimant brought grievances relating to<br />

the delay in implementing the adjustments. Her<br />

grievances were upheld, and an apology was<br />

issued. However, she appealed on the basis that<br />

no compensation was offered for the stress and<br />

difficulties she had experienced. She subsequently<br />

issued proceedings in the Employment Tribunal<br />

(ET) which upheld the claim of discrimination<br />

arising from disability but dismissed the claim<br />

for failure to make reasonable adjustments. The<br />

ET’s decision was overturned by the EAT. The<br />

claimant accepted the EAT’s findings over her<br />

failure to make reasonable adjustments claim but<br />

appealed to the Court of Appeal in respect of the<br />

discrimination arising from disability claim.<br />

The Court of Appeal rejected the appeal. It<br />

confirmed that in order to succeed in a claim for<br />

disability arising from disability, it is necessary for<br />

the treatment complained of to be ‘because of’ the<br />

disability, with the ‘conscious and/or unconscious<br />

thought processes of the putative discriminators<br />

is likely to be necessary’. It is insufficient to<br />

show that ‘but for’ a disability, the disadvantage<br />

complained of would not have arisen. The facts<br />

suggested that the employer had attempted to<br />

address her concerns but failed to adequately do<br />

so.<br />

Dealing with concerns raised by disabled<br />

employees quickly and maintaining<br />

communication when implementing adjustments<br />

may help avoid staff feeling aggrieved enough to<br />

litigate.<br />



A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)<br />

decision – Evans v London Borough of Brent<br />

illustrates the importance of following a fair<br />

procedure prior to dismissal, even where it is<br />

clear the employee has committed a criminal act.<br />

Mr Evans was employed as a deputy<br />

headteacher at Copland Community School.<br />

Following allegations of financial impropriety,<br />

disciplinary proceedings were commenced.<br />

Prior to the disciplinary hearing, Evans was<br />

provided with extensive paperwork relating to the<br />

investigation. Evans requested an extension of time<br />

to master the paperwork and to be accompanied<br />

by his sister, who had previously accompanied<br />

him to interviews but who was on holiday on the<br />

scheduled hearing date. The request was denied,<br />

and he was dismissed following the hearing.<br />

Evans's unfair dismissal claim was stayed<br />

pending the outcome of the criminal case against<br />

him, which found he had received unlawful<br />

overpayments amounting to some £250,000. His<br />

Employment Tribunal claim was then struck out<br />

on the basis that there was no prospect of Evans<br />

recovering financial compensation due to his own<br />

conduct.<br />

Evans appealed, arguing he had a reasonable<br />

prospect of success in respect of the alleged<br />

procedural unfairness, and that this alone was<br />

sufficient for the claim to proceed. The EAT<br />

upheld the appeal despite there being no prospect<br />

of monetary compensation. In its ruling, the<br />

EAT acknowledged the importance for Evans of<br />

a finding of unfair dismissal, which has a value<br />

of its own separate to the issue of monetary<br />

compensation.<br />

Had the employer accepted a short delay in<br />

order to achieve a fair process, it could have saved<br />

the considerable expense of defending its position<br />

at Tribunal.<br />



The Government has announced new protection<br />

for furloughed workers who are made redundant<br />

during furlough.<br />

The new Employment Rights Act 1996<br />

(Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week's Pay)<br />

Regulations <strong>2020</strong> came into effect from 31 July.<br />

Under the new regulations, all workers will be<br />

entitled to statutory redundancy pay calculated<br />

based on their unreduced salary. The statutory<br />

cap on a week's pay will remain in force.<br />

The regulations also apply to statutory notice<br />

payments and basic awards for unfair dismissal<br />

claims, which must also be based on normal<br />

wages rather than the reduced, furlough, rate of<br />

pay.<br />

Where employers need to make redundancies<br />

during furlough leave, the Coronavirus Job<br />

Retention Scheme (CJRS) can continue to be used<br />

to reclaim notice pay up to the cap. It cannot be<br />

used to pay redundancy payments, which must be<br />

financed by employers.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the employment<br />

team at VWV. gedwards@vwv.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 53

Don’t allow long-standing<br />

debts to adversely affect<br />

your business<br />

For all your credit management requirements<br />

Premium Collections Limited have the solution.<br />

Operating on a national and international basis<br />

we can tailor a package of services to meet your<br />

requirements. Staffed by dedicated professionals<br />

with over 50 years combined experience of<br />

handling virtually every type of debt issue.<br />



ADVERT<br />




0161 962 4695<br />

For a detailed discussion on how we can help your business or for a<br />

quotation for any of our services please do not hesitate to contact:<br />

Paul Daine, Managing Director<br />

PO Box 448, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 7WP<br />

Email: enquries@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

Website: www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 54


Standing out from the crowd<br />

East of England Branch<br />

THE latest CI<strong>CM</strong> East of<br />

England Branch webinar<br />

- ‘Standing out from the<br />

Crowd - Employment Tips<br />

for Students through to<br />

Credit Professionals in a<br />

Difficult Climate’ - which was held on 19<br />

August did exactly what it said on the tin.<br />

During the webinar, hosted by<br />

Andrew Martin of Hays, our two expert<br />

recruitment specialist speakers - Branch<br />

Members William Plom of Hays and<br />

Chris Parker of Goodman Masson - gave<br />

plenty of excellent advice, and many tips,<br />

for those currently seeking employment.<br />

William and Chris covered CV writing<br />

- opening statements, what to include<br />

(and how best to say it for maximum<br />

impact), and, almost as important, what<br />

to leave out or truncate! Example CVs<br />

were talked through and advice was given<br />

on the layout, format, length of CV and<br />

even the type and size of font to use. They<br />

stressed the importance of including only<br />

relevant qualifications and experience<br />

and the order in which to place them.<br />

Differentiating between current job<br />

responsibilities and actual achievements<br />

was emphasised and examples given.<br />

A different approach was needed for<br />

direct and agency job applications. If<br />

using a recruitment agency, talking to<br />

your contact at the outset, and regularly,<br />

was advised.<br />

Tips were also provided on how, and<br />

when, to use LinkedIn to best effect. The<br />

advice on interview techniques included<br />

how to prepare and dress for both faceto-face<br />

or virtual interviews. Useful tips<br />

on how to ‘stand out from the crowd’,<br />

come across well to the interviewer, and<br />

not being afraid to ask relevant questions<br />

were also covered. We hope that Branch<br />

members, members of other Branches,<br />

and those interested in joining CI<strong>CM</strong>,<br />

found our latest webinar enjoyable,<br />

helpful and informative. The Branch<br />

Committee would like to thank CI<strong>CM</strong> HQ,<br />

our host and both speakers.<br />

Author: Richard Brown, CI<strong>CM</strong> East of<br />

England Branch Vice Chairman.<br />

The value of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership<br />

‘‘<br />

If you are serious<br />

in furthering your<br />

career in credit<br />

management,<br />

being a member<br />

is essential<br />

Andrew Barbaro<br />

FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Andrew Barbaro FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Director of Customer Financial<br />

Services MEA Emerson Automation<br />

Solutions is a Fellow of the CI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

Read more about his story and join<br />

your credit community by visiting:<br />

www.cicm.com/<br />

value-of-cicm-membership/<br />

01780 722900 www.cicm.com<br />

info@cicm.com<br />

www.cicm.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 55




North West, up to £53,000 + bonus + benefits<br />

This is a great career opportunity for an expert credit<br />

professional with excellent communication skills to motivate<br />

and influence people at all levels, leading from the front to<br />

successfully exceed business targets and objectives. You will<br />

expertly lead the management and operation of the Collections<br />

teams, delivering against an ambitious cash collection target<br />

and develop a CI<strong>CM</strong> accreditation scheme. Ref: 3836849<br />

Contact Karen Young on 01524 532331<br />

or email karen.young@hays.com<br />


London (relocation to Paris), up to £30,000 + bonus<br />

This role is looking for a comprehensive credit controller who<br />

will be focused on collections, administrative tasks of AR,<br />

invoicing and dealing with projects for specific clients on a half<br />

yearly basis. You will have extensive experience dealing with<br />

credit control and demonstrate this through your career history.<br />

Ref: 3728618<br />

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 8465 0020<br />

or email akshay.caussy@hays.com<br />


London, up to £35,000<br />

As a credit controller, you will be focused on collections,<br />

administrative tasks of AR, invoicing and dealing with projects<br />

for specific clients on a half yearly basis. You will have extensive<br />

experience dealing with credit control and demonstrate this<br />

through your career history.<br />

Ref: 3453467<br />

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 8465 0020<br />

or email akshay.caussy@hays.com<br />


Wallingford, £23,000-£25,000<br />

A growing business in the financial services industry is looking<br />

for a credit controller to join its busy team. This role will include<br />

being responsible for your own portfolio of clients in order to<br />

effectively collect any outstanding debts so previous experience<br />

is required. This is an exciting time for the business as it is going<br />

through a period of continuous growth. Ref: 3839720<br />

Contact Benjamin Timmins on 01865 727071<br />

or email benjamin.timmins@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 56



Your resource hub for reaching<br />

your career goals<br />

Read our latest guides and articles<br />

Tips to help you prepare successfully<br />

To find out more visit<br />

hays.co.uk/embrace-the-new-era<br />


Cheltenham, £22,000-£25,000 DOE<br />

Working for an international leader in industrial manufacturing<br />

based in Cheltenham, the objective of the Credit Services advisor<br />

is to manage the credit accounts of customers in line with the<br />

company’s credit policy; to keep customers within their agreed<br />

terms and escalating where further action is required. You will<br />

proactively support the business to achieve sales and profit<br />

growth. Ref: 3839690<br />

Contact Edward Kennedy on 01242 226227<br />

or email edward.kennedy@hays.com<br />


Surrey, £competitive salary + package<br />

Working in a newly created role, you will support the Credit<br />

Manager with the day-to-day running of the department.<br />

Proven leadership skills and an in-depth knowledge of the order<br />

to cash cycle, in an FMCG/retail environment are essential for<br />

this position. Ref: 3840298<br />

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 01256 633152<br />

or email natascha.whitehead@hays.com<br />

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we have<br />

available for credit professionals. To find out more visit us<br />

online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays Credit Management<br />

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 57

WHAT'S ON<br />

We are asking all members to invite a colleague to a CI<strong>CM</strong> membership event,<br />

free of charge. Book online on our website www.cicm.com/cicm-events<br />


We are not able to bring our usual guide<br />

to the CI<strong>CM</strong> and Industry events, as the<br />

calendar and what is on, is changing daily.<br />

Many of our events are now available<br />

online, along with a new series of live and<br />

recorded webinars for the credit profession.<br />

Visit our website for updates and<br />

instructions on how to register.<br />

Advancing the credit the credit profession / / www.cicm.com / September / <strong>October</strong> 2019 <strong>2020</strong> / / PAGE 58 58

More reasons to be a member<br />

Make connections and keep up-to-date<br />

with our exclusive events.<br />

Studying at a<br />

distance<br />

with CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,<br />

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.<br />

Contact CI<strong>CM</strong> for more information on any of these services,<br />

or check them out at cicm.com<br />

Giving you the tools to continue<br />

working through this crisis.<br />



As the world continues to react<br />

to constant change, our credit<br />

profession needs to prepare for the<br />

new credit future.<br />

For more information contact:<br />

info@cicm.com or 01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 59

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />




Controlaccount Plc<br />

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

T: 01527 549 522<br />

E: sales@controlaccount.com<br />

W: www.controlaccount.com<br />

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical<br />

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving<br />

business cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships<br />

and established reputations. Working with leading brand names<br />

in the UK and internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to<br />

our clients. We offer a no collect, no fee service without any<br />

contractual ties in. Where applicable, we can utilise the Late<br />

Payment of Commercial Debts Act (2013) to help you redress<br />

the cost of collection. Our clients also benefit from our in-house<br />

international trace and legal counsel departments and have<br />

complete transparency and up to the minute information on any<br />

accounts placed with us for recovery through our online debt<br />

management system, ClientWeb.<br />


Atradius Collections Ltd<br />

3 Harbour Drive,<br />

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ<br />

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397<br />

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821<br />

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com<br />

Website: atradiuscollections.com<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business<br />

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius<br />

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,<br />

knowledge and reputation.<br />

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering<br />

over a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver<br />

when it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90<br />

years’ experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the<br />

importance of maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently<br />

and effectively collecting monies owed.<br />

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is<br />

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our<br />

service to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients<br />

to provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their<br />

business character, trading patterns and budget.<br />

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK<br />

and Ireland.<br />

Premium Collections Limited<br />

3 Caidan House, Canal Road<br />

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD<br />

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695<br />

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

For all your credit management requirements Premium<br />

Collections has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national<br />

and international basis we can tailor a package of products and<br />

services to meet your requirements.<br />

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international<br />

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status<br />

reporting and litigation support.<br />

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin<br />

our network of 55 partners cover the World.<br />

Contact Paul Daine FCI<strong>CM</strong> on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or<br />

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

Baker Ing International Limited<br />

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN<br />

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds<br />

Email: lisa@bakering.global<br />

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/<br />

Tel: 07717 020659<br />

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry<br />

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.<br />

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s<br />

across the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working<br />

experience within Credit Management. The team offers a<br />

comprehensive service to clients - International Debt Recovery,<br />

Credit Control, Legal Services & more<br />

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency<br />

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks<br />

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.<br />

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on<br />

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global<br />

Sterling Debt Recovery<br />

E: info@sterlingdebtrecovery.com<br />

T: 0207 1005978<br />

W: www.sterlingdebtrecovery.com<br />

Sterling specialises in international business debt collection<br />

to get outstanding invoices paid quickly and cost effectively.<br />

Our experienced, enthusiastic collectors achieve results whilst<br />

maintaining a professional image.<br />

We work on a commission only basis with no up-front fees and<br />

no hidden costs. Each client is allocated a named collector for<br />

personal service and regular updates. We collect the majority<br />

of debt without litigation, with our on-site lawyer supporting us<br />

where appropriate.<br />

Where local expertise is required our global network are<br />

available to assist.<br />


Keebles<br />

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP<br />

T: 0113 399 3482<br />

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com<br />

W: www.keebles.com<br />

Keebles debt recovery team was named “Legal Team of the Year”<br />

at the 2019 CI<strong>CM</strong> British Credit Awards.<br />

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders<br />

above others in the industry. A team that understands their client’s<br />

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.<br />

Professional, can do attitude runs through the team which is not<br />

seen in many other practices.”<br />

We offer a service with no hidden costs, giving you certainty and<br />

peace of mind.<br />

• ‘No recovery, no fee’ for pre-legal work.<br />

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to<br />

judgment and enforcement.<br />

• Success rate in excess of 80%.<br />

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.<br />

• Real-time online access to your cases to review progress.<br />

Lovetts Solicitors<br />

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,<br />

Old Portsmouth Road,<br />

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR<br />

T: 01483 347001<br />

E: info@lovetts.co.uk<br />

W: www.lovetts.co.uk<br />

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business<br />

debt collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+<br />

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:<br />

• Letters Before Action (LBA) from £1.50 + VAT (successful in<br />

86% of cases)<br />

• Advice and dispute resolution<br />

• Legal proceedings and enforcement<br />

• 24/7 access to your cases via our in-house software solution,<br />

CaseManager<br />

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent customer<br />

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.<br />

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to<br />

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful<br />

results.”<br />


Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd<br />

T: +44(0)1525 720226<br />

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm<br />

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all<br />

aspects of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCI<strong>CM</strong>, the<br />

principal, is well known in the industry with a wealth of experience<br />

in operational credit management, billing, change and business<br />

process improvement. A sought after speaker with cross<br />

industry international experience in the business-to-business and<br />

business-to-consumer markets, his innovative and enthusiastic<br />

approach delivers pragmatic people and process lead solutions<br />

and significant working capital improvements to clients.<br />

Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CI<strong>CM</strong>Q on behalf of<br />

and under the supervision of the CI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />


Court Enforcement Services<br />

Wayne Whitford – Director<br />

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />


We help law firms, in-house debt recovery and legal teams to<br />

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. With<br />

our fast, fair and personable approach to service, we work<br />

harder to bring you the sector’s best results without risking client<br />

reputation.<br />

• Free Transfer Up process of CCJs to High Court<br />

• Market-leading recovery rates<br />

• Over 100,000 writs, recovering >£187 million since 2014<br />

• Real-time access to cases via our own Award-Winning App<br />

• Our highly trained and certificated agents cover every postcode<br />

in England & Wales.<br />


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 60


russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />




CoCredo<br />

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD<br />

T: 01494 790600<br />

E: customerservice@cocredo.com<br />

W: www.cocredo.co.uk<br />

We provide business information on over 256 million companies<br />

across 221 countries. Our information is updated over 500,000<br />

times per day and we have some excellent tracking mechanisms<br />

which provide proactive daily monitoring of changes in<br />

the global information on record. We can offer a wealth of<br />

additional services including XML Integration, D.N.A portfolio<br />

management, CoData marketing information, Companies<br />

House documents, Consumer and Director Searches. We pride<br />

ourselves in delivering award winning customer service, offering<br />

you unrivalled support and analysis to protect your business.<br />



SmartSearch<br />

SmartSearch, Harman House,<br />

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX<br />

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660<br />

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com<br />

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data<br />

with broad coverage, highly automated flexible technology with<br />

an innovative and intuitive customer interface. Key features<br />

include automatic Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily<br />

Monitoring, Automated Enhanced Due Diligence and proactive<br />

customer management. Choose SmartSearch as your<br />

benchmark.<br />

CEDAR<br />

ROSE<br />

R<br />

Cedar Rose<br />

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus<br />

E: info@cedar-rose.com T: +357 25346630<br />

W: www.cedar-rose.com<br />

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for<br />

credit reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East<br />

and North African countries since 1997. We now cover over<br />

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis and<br />

attention to detail we are well-known and trusted for.<br />

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar<br />

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence &<br />

European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stop-shop for<br />

your business intelligence solutions. We are the ultimate source;<br />

with competitive prices and friendly customer service - whether<br />

you need one or one thousand reports.<br />

Graydon UK<br />

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,<br />

Middlesex, HA1 1BE<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of<br />

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon<br />

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling<br />

them to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise<br />

opportunities with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses<br />

130+ international databases and the information of 90+ million<br />

companies. Graydon has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam<br />

and Antwerp. Since 2016, Graydon has been part of Atradius,<br />

one of the world’s largest credit insurance companies.<br />

Company Watch<br />

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,<br />

LONDON. EC3N 2ER<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s<br />

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk<br />

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map<br />

medium to long-term risk as well as short-term credit risk set us<br />

apart from other credit reference agencies.<br />

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our<br />

unique method of assessing corporate financial health via our<br />

H-Score®, to developing analytics on our customers’ in-house<br />

data.<br />

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate<br />

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of<br />

choice, providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.<br />



T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market<br />

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated<br />

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the<br />

order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.<br />

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process, as well as<br />

contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully<br />

used for successful credit management.<br />

Tinubu Square UK<br />

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,<br />

London EC3A 5AW<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com<br />

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler<br />

of the Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital<br />

transformation.<br />

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to<br />

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,<br />

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology<br />

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS<br />

solutions and services to different businesses including credit<br />

insurers, receivables financing organizations and multinational<br />

corporations.<br />

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20<br />

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in<br />

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.<br />

Credica Ltd<br />

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT<br />

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections<br />

and Query Management System has been designed with 3<br />

goals in mind:<br />

•To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect<br />

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business<br />

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of<br />

Credit Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is<br />

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for<br />

our diverse portfolio of clients.<br />

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit<br />

from our ‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer<br />

software.<br />

Data Interconnect Ltd<br />

Units 45-50<br />

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park<br />

Majors Road, Watchfield<br />

Swindon, SN6 8TZ<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash<br />

Automation. Corrivo Billing, Collection and Dispute modules<br />

seamlessly integrate for a rich, end-to-end A/R user experience.<br />

Branded customer portals, real-time dashboards, advanced<br />

reporting, available in 15 languages as standard; are some of<br />

the reason why global brands choose Data Interconnect.<br />

HighRadius<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables<br />

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions<br />

such as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and<br />

eBilling. The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a<br />

software-as-a-service (SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAPcertified<br />

Accelerators for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables<br />

Management, enabling large enterprises to maximize the value<br />

of their SAP investments. HighRadius Integrated Receivables<br />

solutions have a proven track record of reducing days sales<br />

outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and increasing operation efficiency,<br />

enabling companies to achieve an ROI in less than a year.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 61

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />



russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />



FORUMS<br />

ESKER<br />

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing<br />

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe<br />

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the<br />

all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s businesses<br />

from collecting receivables in a timely manner. From credit<br />

management to cash allocation, Esker automates each step of<br />

the order-to-cash cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps<br />

companies modernise without replacing their core billing and<br />

collections processes. By simply automating what should<br />

be automated, customers get the post-sale experience they<br />

deserve and your team gets the tools they need.<br />

Dun & Bradstreet<br />

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow<br />

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ<br />

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance<br />

leaders and credit professionals to improve business<br />

performance through more effective risk management,<br />

identification of growth opportunities, and better integration<br />

of data and insights across the business. Powered by our<br />

Data Cloud, our solutions provide access to the world’s most<br />

comprehensive commercial data and insights - supplying a<br />

continually updated view of business relationships that helps<br />

finance and credit teams stay ahead of market shifts and<br />

customer changes. Learn more here:<br />

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance<br />


T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of<br />

all levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities<br />

which aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead.<br />

Attending for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits<br />

and meet the members and we only have pre-approved<br />

Partners, so you will never intentionally be sold to.<br />



Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road<br />

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham<br />

Berkshire RG41 5RB<br />

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com<br />

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations<br />

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.<br />

As an SAP Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and<br />

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions<br />

for the entire order-to-cash process, Serrala provides credit<br />

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk<br />

exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

C2FO<br />

C2FO Ltd<br />

105 Victoria Steet<br />

SW1E 6QT<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into<br />

income, uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow<br />

discounts in exchange for early payment of approved invoices.<br />

Suppliers access additional liquidity sources by accelerating<br />

payments from buyers when required in just two clicks, at a<br />

rate that works for them. Buyers, often corporates with global<br />

supply chains, benefit from the C2FO solution by improving<br />

gross margin while strengthening the financial health of supply<br />

chains through ethical business practices.<br />

Menzies<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an<br />

accountancy firm delivering traditional services combined with<br />

strategic commercial thinking. Our services include: advisory,<br />

audit, corporate and personal tax, corporate finance, forensic<br />

accounting, outsourcing, wealth management and business<br />

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist offering<br />

developed specifically for creditors. For more information on<br />

this, or to see how the Menzies Creditor Services team can<br />

assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services. Bethan Evans,<br />

Partner and Head of Menzies Creditor Services, email:<br />

bevans@menzies.co.uk and phone: +44 (0)2920 447512<br />

LEGAL<br />

Redwood Collections Ltd<br />

0208 288 3555<br />

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com<br />

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ<br />

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt<br />

collection services ranging from sensitive client-debtor<br />

mediation through to legal and insolvency action.<br />

Incorporated in 2009, we are pleased to represent in excess of<br />

11,000 clients. Whatever your debt collection needs, we have<br />

the expertise and resources to deliver a fast, efficient and costeffective<br />

solution.”<br />

Satago<br />

48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW<br />

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015<br />

E: hello@satago.com<br />

W: www.satago.com<br />

Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid<br />

credit risks, manage debtors and access finance when they<br />

need it – all in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud<br />

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping businesses:<br />

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS<br />

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL<br />

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE<br />

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.<br />

identeco – Business Support Toolkit<br />

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,<br />

Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk<br />

Web: www.identeco.co.uk<br />

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal<br />

connecting its subscribers to a range of business services that<br />

help them to engage with new prospects, understand their<br />

customers and mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per<br />

year for unlimited access. Providing company information and<br />

financial reports, director and shareholder structures as well as a<br />

unique financial health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, and<br />

any detrimental data that might be associated with a company.<br />

Other services also included in the subscription include a<br />

business names database, acquisition targets, a data audit<br />

service as well as unlimited, bespoke marketing and telesales<br />

listings for any sector.<br />


Gravity Global<br />

Floor 6/7, Gravity Global, 69 Wilson St, London, EC2A 2BB<br />

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E: sfeast@gravityglobal.com<br />

W: www.gravityglobal.com<br />

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising<br />

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the<br />

best in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector,<br />

building long-term relationships with some of the industry’s<br />

best-known brands working on often challenging briefs. As<br />

the partner agency for the Credit Services Association (CSA)<br />

for the past 22 years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit<br />

Management since 2006, it understands the key issues<br />

affecting the credit industry and what works and what doesn’t in<br />

supporting its clients in the media and beyond.<br />

Shoosmiths<br />

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit<br />

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively<br />

as possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

•Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs down<br />

•Litigation service<br />

•Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

•Insolvency<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your<br />

goals, and adept at advising you on the most effective way of<br />

achieving them.<br />


Bottomline Technologies<br />

115 Chatham Street, Reading<br />

Berks RG1 7JX | UK<br />

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses<br />

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline<br />

for domestic and international payments, effective cash<br />

management tools, automated workflows for payment<br />

processing and bill review and state of the art fraud detection,<br />

behavioural analytics and regulatory compliance. Businesses<br />

around the world depend on Bottomline solutions to help them<br />

pay and get paid, including some of the world’s largest systemic<br />

banks, private and publicly traded companies and Insurers.<br />

Every day, we help our customers by making complex business<br />

payments simple, secure and seamless.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 62


American Express<br />

76 Buckingham Palace Road,<br />

London. SW1W 9TQ<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

American Express is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

and is a globally recognised provider of payment solutions<br />

to businesses. Specialising in providing flexible collection<br />

capabilities to drive a number of company objectives including:<br />

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk<br />

• Offer extended terms to customers<br />

• Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive<br />

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers<br />

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,<br />

American Express is working with credit managers to drive<br />

growth within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional<br />

lever to help support supplier/client relationships American<br />

Express is proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />



Key IVR<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of<br />

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> is a recognised and trusted professional entity within<br />

credit management and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are<br />

delighted to be providing our services to the CI<strong>CM</strong> to assist<br />

with their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides<br />

a suite of products to assist companies across the globe with<br />

credit management. Our service is based around giving the<br />

end-user the means to make a payment when and how they<br />

choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a secure<br />

telephone payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies<br />

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.<br />


Hays Credit Management<br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs<br />

and credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands<br />

of this challenging environment and the skills required to thrive<br />

within it. Whatever your needs, we have temporary, permanent<br />

and contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our<br />

candidate registration process is unrivalled, including faceto-face<br />

screening interviews and a credit control skills test<br />

developed exclusively for Hays by the CI<strong>CM</strong>. We offer CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

members a priority service and can provide advice across a wide<br />

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio Credit Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation is a proven model<br />

that has consistently delivered dramatic<br />

improvements in cashflow and efficiency<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q is the hallmark of industry<br />

leading organisations<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> Best Practice Network is where<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accredited organisations come<br />

together to develop, share and celebrate<br />

best practice in credit and collections<br />

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CI<strong>CM</strong> BEST<br />


To find out more about flexible options<br />

to gain CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation<br />

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900<br />

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of<br />

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts<br />

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning<br />

recruiter we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday<br />

understanding their skills and backgrounds to provide you with<br />

tried and tested credit control professionals. We have achieved<br />

enormous growth because we offer a uniquely specialist<br />

approach to our clients, with a commitment to service delivery<br />

that exceeds your expectations every single time.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>October</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 63

Don’t get<br />

STUNG<br />

Taking on board new clients without<br />

getting the appropriate credit checks<br />

could lead to a nasty shock.<br />

Contact us to find out about our<br />

award-winning company credit reports.<br />

01494 790600 www.cocredo.co.uk

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!